On his way to mastering the defence-minded tactics needed to stop the world’s finest strikers, Jose Mourinho has worked with and encountered many of the greats since beginning his coaching career under Bobby Robson in 1992.
Now the provocative ‘Special One’, who was dismissed as Manchester United manager ten months ago amid criticism of his conservative style, has named one of the earliest talents he nurtured as the finest player he has worked with.
Mourinho saw the Brazilian Ronaldo every day in training as the man who would be dubbed El Fenomeno, then barely 20, scored 47 times in 49 appearances in his breakthrough season for an elite European club
‘When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I’d ever seen take to the field,’ said Mourinho, who told LiveScore he remains confounded by a goal the Brazilian scored for Barca against PSG in Rotterdam in 1997, calling it ‘awesome’.’
‘Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers. They have remained at the top every day for 15 years.
‘However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo.’
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