Modern footballers are vain, overpaid and desire celebrity over sporting success – Jose Mourinho

Modern footballers demand riches before they ‘play a single match’ and ‘queue in front of the mirror’ because they are more interested in their image than becoming greats, Jose Mourinho has said.

The outspoken Chelsea manager says society has changed and produced a younger generation more interested in money, fame and celebrity than ‘winning titles’.

The 51-year-old paid tribute to John Terry and Frank Lampard, saying they understood to be ‘fanatical about victories’ meant they would be ‘rich before the end of their careers’.

But he added that footballers are overpaid because ‘others do more to benefit humanity’ and finding young people who put winning over wealth is difficult.

‘You have to find the right boy: the boy who wants to succeed, has pride and passion for the game,’ he told Esquire magazine.

‘His dream is not one more million or one less million, his dream is to play at the highest level, to win titles, because if you do these things you’ll be rich the same at the end of your career.

‘So we are working hard to give the best orientation to young players, to follow examples of guys from the past — the Lampards, the Terrys — who were always fanatical for victories.’

Mourinho is one of the world’s most successful managers, having played football himself at a low level in his native Portugal before he made his big break after he became an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson when he was manager of Barcelona.

He then forged his own managerial career later winning the Champions’ League twice, with FC Porto and Inter Milan.

He is in his second spell at Chelsea, having managed Real Madrid for three years before returning to Stamford Bridge.


The Special One said it was while in the Spanish capital he saw vanity from his squad, which included Cristiano Ronaldo.

‘Lots of times at Real Madrid, the players would be queuing in front of the mirror before the game while the referee waited for them in the tunnel,’ he said.

‘But that’s how society is now. Young people care a lot about this: they are twenty something and I am 51 and if I want to work with kids I have to understand their world. How can I stop my players on the bus doing, er, what do you call?…Twitters and these things? How can I stop them if my daughter and my son do the same? So, I have to adapt to the moment.’

Mourinho told Esquire footballers do ‘earn too much money’ and despite the pressures of the Premier League and working for Roman Abramovich, ‘nothing’ stops him sleeping.

‘I sleep seven, eight hours every night. I cannot compare my job with the doctor who is doing heart surgery. There is much more responsibility for him than for me.

‘That’s why I sometimes feel that we earn too much money compared to people who do much more than us to benefit humanity. What is football? Football is emotion. No more than that.’

He added that his wife and daughter are not fussed about football because they are ‘more intelligent’.

‘In our house, it’s two and two. Mum and daughter isolated of football. They like me to win and they care about my happiness, but they don’t live for football. And obviously the boy [José Jr] is a boy, and at this age — 13, 14, 15 — he gets involved in the game, too. So, it’s two for football and two who are more intelligent than the men of the house’.