Chelsea midfielder Willian was a guest on ESPN Brasil’s Bate Bola show today. Mostly speaking of the Premier League title, the player also had a chat with the pundits about other subjects, including his past.
Journalist Gustavo Hoffman asked Willian who was the manager he worked with that helped him most. That’s when the player revealed some special feelings for José Mourinho.
“From all of them, I learned something. I learned a lot. When I went to Shakhtar with Lucescu. When I left Shakhtar, in a very short spell at Anzhi with Guus Hiddink, I learned a lot. And then here at Chelsea with Mourinho, a manager who helped me a lot, I learned a lot from him.
“So with all of them I learned a lot. But we always have a special affection for somebody, and you feel that, that it is reciprocal of him. And we’re not even working together anymore, but we’ve become friends. And it’s Mourinho.
“The coach who has helped me since my arrival at Chelsea. That backed me, that put me to play, that relied on my potential, that relied on my work. So no doubt I have affection for all, but Mourinho was a guy that I have a special affection and helped me a lot.”
Then former player Zé Elias asked Willian if people have an unfair opinion about the Manchester United manager, since he often gets a bad press, Willian replied: “Actually, he’s a smart manager, I really enjoyed working with him. Like every manager, when the team loses, or something happens, the team don’t do well, the manager ends up getting upset. But it’s part of the job.
“He is a manager who talks to players, who is tactically very smart, knows how to lead the group well. So I only have good things to say about him, this whole time I worked with him at Chelsea was very good. So he is a very good manager and person, and always tries to do the best for the team”.
Mourinho brought Willian from Anzhi in 2013 on a €35m deal, and oversaw Willian’s best Chelsea form.
The good relationship between them would be partly why Mourinho now wants to sign him for Manchester United, according to several reports from the English press.
But when speaking of his future, Willian wasn’t really keen on teasing with a move to Manchester United. He claims he’s good at Chelsea, and doesn’t think of leaving the club so soon.
“The rumours here in England are very big. Of course I’m happy when other managers show up interested in my football, I’m very happy about that, but today I’m a Chelsea player. I have a contract until 2020 and I’m happy here at the club. Happy to live in London and my family is well adapted here too.”
“If I stay, I will remain very happy, and if I have to leave, let it be to a place where I can be respected.
“I’m very happy at Chelsea, I’ve always been respected here by the fans, the fans have a great affection for me, I’m going to try to return that affection until my last day of the contract with Chelsea.”