Big names must fight for selection, says Mourinho

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho has denied that Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, will demand his big-name signings are guaranteed starting positions.

Following the Blues' 1-0 defeat by MLS All Stars here on Saturday, Mourinho said: "The player's name, stature and history doesn't matter because the team always comes first. We could have Pele and Maradona but the best teams are always in front of the players. Nothing and nobody can change that.

"I have to make choices and I will forget [players'] stature and history and how much they earn and the money they cost. I am interested in what happens on the pitch and I don't care about names."

He also insisted that Abramovich's desire to enhance Chelsea's global profile will not get in the way. "The club has a business area and they want to improve the profile all the time," he said. "But there will be no conflicts of interests with the football side. That is separate.

"I won't put other interests in front of the football side. If the club say to me they have to go to an adidas shop I would say no because the players have to rest.

"The players know my way of management and they appreciate that."

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