Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has given an exclusive interview to Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo this week.
The outlet’s main question was about Lucas Moura. They asked the Special One why the winger was never successful with the national team, despite the big expectation there was around him when he was young.
“I think Lucas’ call-ups is less of Lucas and more of the coaches he’s had so far,” said Mourinho. “Because since Lucas came to Europe, where is the coach who actually put his head in for him and said: ‘Uou are important, you are very good, you are a priority, you play every game?’
“Lucas was always living a little bit, both in Paris and here too, in this situation of playing or not playing. Play two, don’t play one. It even came to the situation of doing what he did in the Champions League and not playing in the final.
“I think this is the first time that a fantastic, sensitive, emotional man has felt ‘this coach likes me, this coach wants me’. And I think it’s a little bit reciprocal.”
The manager also claims that Lucas Moura needs some rest, and it’d actually be good for Tottenham to see him out of the national team.
“He’s in very good shape. My only fear is obviously that the gas runs out. Because a man is a man. Especially offensive players, who have tremendous wear and tear. And all of us coaches like to rotate, in the 60 or 70 minutes, switch for a fresh one. Here neither hot nor fresh, there is only one here and you always have to play. So my fear is just that.
“And with all due respect to Tite, the best thing he could do is not to call up Lucas so that in March he could refuel a little. But he’s doing a fantastic job that deserves all the best, I think he’s been having a fantastic three months. Not only in the quality of the game, but in the way he gives himself to the team.”
José Mourinho’s love for Lucas Moura is an old story. The manager had already revealed he previously tried to sign the Brazilian for both Real Madrid and Manchester United, so he’s glad to finally have the player in his squad.
As for his poke at Mauricio Pochettino for leaving Lucas Moura out of the Champions League final last season, the player himself had talked about his dissatisfaction when speaking to the Brazilian media last year.
“Acho que é a primeira vez que @LucasMoura7 sente: ‘esse treinador gosta de mim’.”
— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) February 18, 2020