Mourinho endorses Smalling for England call-up: “He’s a top player.”

Andy Mattioli

Jose Mourinho spoke to Sky Sport to preview the upcoming Europa League affair with Real Betis and share some insights on reuniting with the likes of Chris Smalling and Nemanja Matic in the Italian capital.

“Tomorrow I hope to find a stadium packed with supporters and of emotions. I want those emotions to last all night,” he said.

“This is going to be a difficult game,” the Special One continued. “Real Betis are a very good team led by a great coach.”

“Dybala? His insertion in the team went very smoothly. It is only natural for us to have wanted a player like Paulo.”

“It’s important that he didn’t feel the burden of coming here and being an important player and feeling too much pressure because of it. It is all natural, it seems that he has been here for years and this naturalness is synonymous with quality.”

“Smalling? I find it very strange that he hasn’t been called up with England. I find it very odd. I am in the privileged position where I get to compare this version of Smalling to the one from 4-5 years ago.”

“I don’t know whether he’s improved physically, or if he’s happy to live here and happy to play for Roma. All I know is that he’s a top player. He’s playing excellent football and I’m happy for him.”

“Matic? It’s the third time we meet in ten years. Obviously he’s changed a lot, perhaps he’s lost a step or two, but he’s also gained a lot of experience. He’s an additional general on the pitch and he’s important for the team.”

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MatchDay 32
14 Apr 18:00