Jose Mourinho: Chelsea is above the World Cup

 

Jose Mourinho has warned his Chelsea players that the club must be their main priority and to put any World Cup prospects to the back of their minds.

Several members of the Blues’ multinational squad will be taking part in the tournament in Brazil next summer. They will all be desperate to play regularly for Chelsea in order not to have their places in their various national squads put at risk. But Mourinho is adamant it will not influence his team selection. “The most important thing is Chelsea, the second thing is the players, the third thing is the  national team. That has to be my ranking,” he said.

“I don’t enjoy leaving good players and good professionals on the bench, but that’s life. If I was a player I’d think the same way [wanting to be at the World Cup]. If you can go, go. You have to perform and play well to go there. It’s important for their careers, for their self-esteem, for their families. But it’s important for them when they come here; they have to change the sheet and think about Chelsea.”

England defender Gary Cahill is particularly vulnerable, although he started both recent World Cup qualifiers, as he is third choice for Chelsea behind John Terry and David Luiz.

“I don’t like [leaving him out],” Mourinho said. “I don’t enjoy. I trust Gary. I like him very much. I want to help him, not make his life difficult.  I would never do something that could jeopardise his selection for the national team or creates a difficult situation for him on the national team. No worries – he will play a lot.”

Mourinho also said he would not stand in Terry’s way should the Chelsea captain decide to come out of international retirement. Terry quit last year on the eve of a Football Association independent panel hearing, which eventually found him guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in 2011.

Mourinho said: “It’s up to Roy [Hodgson]. If Roy and him decide to do that, Jose and Chelsea will never put something against that. But it’s up to them. I’m not in favour or against. It’s their decision.”

Chelsea begin a run of four games in 10 days at home to Cardiff City today without Ashley Cole, who has a rib injury and André Schürrle (leg), but Fernando Torres is fit after knee trouble.

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