Sunday 18 February 2018

Jose Mourinho attacks "selfish" Leicester players and wears 'CR' shirt in solidarity with sacked Claudio Ranieri

Jose Mourinho's top included the initials 'CR' after Claudio Ranieri's sacking
Jose Mourinho's top included the initials 'CR' after Claudio Ranieri's sacking
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has launched a passionate defence of Claudio Ranieri, as he offered up a typically colourful tribute to the manager sacked by Leicester on Thursday night.

Mourinho appeared before the media wearing a Manchester United training jersey with the initials ‘CR’ imprinted at the top, as the United boss served up some stinging criticism of the Leicester players who have under-performed this season.

Ranieri was replaced by Mourinho as Chelsea manager back in 2004, but the duo appear to have built up a strong bond in recent years and the United boss was keen to defend his colleague as he spoke to the media.

When asked when he was wearing a shirt with Ranieri’s initials, he offered this response: “My words is my shirt with his name. It’s my little homage to somebody that wrote the most beautiful history of the Premier League.

“Somebody that deserve the Leicester stadium to be named Claudio Ranieri and he is sacked.

“Leicester made history two years in a row, one year because they did the most beautiful thing in the Premier League and one of most beautiful things in football history and now they are also in the highlights with the decision that I think has everyone in football united because it is something very, very difficult to accept

“At the same time, it is good to realise how football is and we need to adapt to it. It’s his fault because he’s paying for his success.”

Mourinho went on to compare his sacking at Chelsea last season to that of Ranieri’s, with the managers who guided their teams to the Premier League title over the last two years both sacked a few months later.

“I thought last season when I was sacked as a champion it was a giant negative thing, now I realise that was peanuts to what happened with Claudio, but no one can delete what he did,” he added.

“If some of the stories I am reading are true or just a little bit true, I find it hard to accept.”

“Probably the season started with the typical selfishness of others, people thinking about new contracts, people thinking about leaving, people thinking about more money, people forgetting what helped them reach a certain level.

“But this is not just football. I think it’s also a bit our world, maybe your world too. Some principles are going away a little bit, but I lived through a similar experience.”

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