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Sunday 25 February 2018

'You either love him or hate him' - Branislav Ivanovic opens up on life working under Jose Mourinho

Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Mourinho during their time at Chelsea
Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Mourinho during their time at Chelsea
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Branislav Ivanovic has given a unique insight into working with Jose Mourinho, as he admitted some Chelsea players hated working with the Portuguese tactician during his second spell as the club’s manager.

Ivanovic ended a stay of almost nine years at Stamford Bridge when he joined Zenit St Petersburg in last month’s transfer window and in an interview with Russian newspaper Sport Express, he has revealed the loyalty Mourinho demands from his players.

They call Mourinho the Special One, and I think he is,” stated Ivanovic. “Mourinho helps to develop the best qualities, professionally and as a person.

“You can’t be indifferent to him. You either love him or hate him. That’s what makes him special. I am glad that I had a chance to work with him.

“If you win, his trust knows no bounds. He will make you fulfil the potential you were not even aware of.

“Training was unique under Mourinho and he sometimes plays mind games with the press, but when it comes to the most important things, the matches themselves, he is always very serious. If you want to play for Mourinho, you have to follow his demands.

“Mourinho’s brain is constantly occupied by something. Even in his spare time. It happened so that it focused on the games that are coming to us as much as two to three weeks away.”

Ivanovic was also full of praise for Carlo Ancelotti, who guided Chelsea to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010.

“He is a very different kind of coach,” he added, comparing the tactician currently in charge of Bayern Munich to Mourinho. “If players had a choice, I think they would like to spend his entire career under the guidance of Carlo.

“He is very calm and always takes all negativity itself, allowing players to feel calmer. It is a different style, but we had good results with both.”

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