Roma manager Jose Mourinho was interviewed following last night’s award ceremony that saw Karim Benzema lift the Ballon d’Or. The Portuguese technician – who worked with Benzema at Madrid between 2010 and 2013 – discussed the Frenchman’s achievement.
“His Ballon d’Or is the natural consequence of his natural evolution, more than the result of a personal obsession,” Mourinho told L’Equipe.
“When I was his coach he was a very talented footballer, looking for his identity as a player of the highest level, with the right ambitions and the right physical condition.”
“I wanted him to grow as quickly as possible and I was hard on him: I corrected him on all the small details, the smallest extra pound and even the slightest minute of delay in training.”
“I don’t know if I had influence in his evolution, only he knows, but his strong character allowed him to progress.”