'Having enemies is not a problem. I only ask them to be sporting'

Jose Mourinho has dominated Spain's sports pages this week. Pete Jenson digs out the gems on and by the Inter coach
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The Independent Football

Mourinho on Van Gaal

I am not his disciple. I know him as a coach but he does not know me as a coach. He only knows me as his assistant, and that is a big difference.

Having the opportunity to work with him for three years at a great club like Barcelona was fantastic but I paid my debt. I worked like an animal for him – on the training ground, travelling to watch rivals, talking to rival teams. I paid with hard work and sweat.

Van Gaal on Mourinho

He was very modest back then when we worked together. It has been nice to see how he has developed as a coach and he has ended up being this personality that he is. He soon knew that I understood football. I think I educated him a bit. Now he plays just to win. I aim to play well also and entertain the public so my path is the more difficult one but I respect him.

Mourinho negative?

Me defensive? We played two games against Chelsea and Barcelona and we always went on the attack. The second legs were more defensive because we had destroyed them in the first legs.

Mourinho on swapping Ibrahimovic for Eto'o

Ibra told me he was going to Barça to win the balon d'or but being the best in a team that has Messi, Xavi and Iniesta is difficult. He has not found what he expected there. In contrast Eto'o found just what he was looking for – a humble squad with a lot of ambition.

Arrigo Sacchi on Mourinho

He is an extraordinary motivator – you can see that in the way all his players speak well of him, and when you think of the egos in football now that speaks volumes. Madrid is a complicated club but if anyone can handle it then it is him.

Mourinho on Drogba

Leadership can be very specific; it depends who you are leading. For example if I tell Drogba he is rubbish I know in the next game he will score lots of goals from every chance he gets. But if I told another type of player the same thing then in the next game they would not even touch the ball because he would have been destroyed.

Kezman on Mourinho

Sometimes I was a afraid to shoot in case it went down as me having lost possession.

Mourinho on losing

I always make sure I go out to dinner after a defeat because I think it is important that I show my face. Luckily, I don't do it very much due to the fact that I don't lose very often. I have not had to do it after a home match for seven years.

Mourinho on enemies

Having enemies is not a problem. The only thing that I ask is that they be sporting.

Mourinho on arrogance

Arrogance is often misunderstood. I like the kind of arrogance when a player knows that he is the best and always plays to win. Then there is the other type of arrogance of the player who goes on to the pitch thinking he is the best when in fact he is more concerned about the earring he is wearing than anything else.

Mourinho on press conferences

The game starts long before the referee blows his whistle. In the press conference before the game you start the battle. You send the message you want to send to your opponents and to your players. What I don't like is the press conference afterwards – the coach should analyse the game with his players not with the whole world listening.

Mourinho on Lampard and Carvalho

At first I wanted to take Lampard and Carvalho to Inter but Chelsea would not sell. Then when Real Madrid bought Kaka and Barça wanted Ibrahimovic I knew I could get that player that I love so much (Wesley Sneijder) and Eto'o.

Mourinho on Van Gaal again

I remember once I had the chance to go to Benfica as No 2 and he told me that he would not let me go. He said if it was to go as a No 1 then he would release me but not as a second coach. He told me I was better than any other No 1 that he could sign. He was fantastic with me – he is very different from his public image.

Mourinho on his private life

I'm not interested in the VIP life. I don't go to premieres and neither do I do to the top restaurant in Milan or London. I try to live as normal life as possible.