Jose Mourinho says the media should be 'embarrassed' over secret recording of Samuel Eto'o age comments
Manager insists disparaging comments about Chelsea striker were a joke
Jose Mourinho has blasted the media for the reaction to his comments regarding striker Samuel Eto’o’s age after the Chelsea manager was caught questioning how old the Cameroonian is as well as the quality in attack he has to choose from.
Mourinho was heard making the remarks before a one-on-one interview with French TV channel Canal Plus, but he has defended his comments and instead launched an attack on the journalist who recorded his words without the Portuguese’s knowledge.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie with Galatasaray, Mourinho said: “I think you should be embarrassed as a media professionals because by the ethical point of view I don't think you are happy your colleague is happy to be able to record a private conversation and to make it public.
“I think you should all be embarrassed because it is against your ethic. Is it a not happy comment, absolutely.
“I am not defending what I am saying, I am attacking something that is from your professional area. That person showed what he is or what he does not know about the job.
“The comment is not a good one and not one I would do in a serious, official way. First of all because I don't make fun, second if there are managers in the world that defend their players I am one of them.
“Third because Samuel Eto'o is Samuel Eto'o. Four times a Champions League winner. It was with him I had the best ever season of my career. It was a funny conversation between me and someone not in the football world. It is a disgrace someone is taping a private conversation.”
'The Special One' may have been flustered in his attack, given that Eto'o has only won the European Cup three times - twice with Barcelona in 2005-06 and 2008-09. and once with Inter Milan under Mourinho in 2009-10 - but perhaps the fourth will be added this season in a sign of things to come for the Blues.
His fierce attack comes after he was caught on tape suggesting that his current options of Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba are not enough for what he has planned with this Chelsea team.
“The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker,” Mourinho said, elaborating on his side’s lack of goals coming from strikers. “I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?”
Mourinho then turned his attentions to Wednesday’s match, where he will face former Blues striker Didier Drogba. The 35-year-old Ivorian has been the focus of the pre-match build-up having spent eight trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge, but he will now face his former club as well as his close friend in Mourinho.
“I look forward to every match,” Mourinho admitted. “I like to play. I am happy to do it, I like to do it against the best and Galatasaray is the Turkish champion. To face Didier Drogba is difficult and a strange feeling but we have to do our job, we know that he wants to do his job. I want to do my job by trying to help the team and he wants to do his by scoring.
“It is a strange feeling to face him.”
The 52-year-old also stressed that while his side were not considered favourites for the Champions League crown, progression to the quarter-finals would give them a great chance to succeed much like his previous two-successful campaigns, and also like Chelsea triumphant season of 2011-12.
“We are not favourites (to win the competition), obviously,” he accepted. “But when a team reaches the quarter final, anything is possible. This round is a very important round because the teams who reach the quarter final can start having a little feeling.
“Chelsea won it when they were not the favourite, I won it twice when I was not favourite. I didn't win when my team was one of the favourites.
“This competition has a bit of a space for a surprise. It is clear there are at least three, maybe four or five, that are by quality and experience obviously favourites.”
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