Ahead of their Sunday showdown with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has made him a “better manager”.
“My dear enemy, he has made me a better manager because to stop him has been very difficult,” Mourinho said, adding that he tried to sign him three times.
“I am very sad this is the last time I will face him.”
The Blues boss says that the La Galaxy bound liverpudlian almost signed for Chelsea in 2005, and that he also tried to get the Anfield icon while in charge of Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
“It’s too late to sign him. He can’t play against Liverpool. He’s done an amazing career with his people. He refused to play in other big clubs, other big leagues, to play only for Liverpool and this is a feeling that stays together.
“Who knows if I’ll play against Steven as a Liverpool manager some day?”
Mourinho wanted to pair Gerrard with Franck Lampard, something that England national team managers failed to do.
“I always thought that both were the best two number eights in Europe,” he said.
“In my opinion and my vision with them you don’t play a number 10, you play with one number six and give the freedom to the two number eights because they score more goals than any number 10.
“So Lampard with 30 goals a season from midfield and Gerrard with 25, they score more goals together than a No 10 and the striker.”