Interviews

Mourinho on the importance of winning: “You can’t sell philosophy.”

Andy Mattioli
I

Roma manager Jose Mourinho discussed the importance of winning and creating empathy within the dressing room.

In an interview with Gameplan-a.com, the Special One spoke about some of the keys to his successful, long-standing career.

“It’s not possible to be a top football coach without speaking [different] languages,” said the Portuguese technician.

“Football has become universal. In the dressing room, you have guys from many different nationalities, and of course you have to learn the mother language in the country you are in. In the end, to have more empathy and to communicate better with the people you’re working with, you have to be really good in different languages.” 

“When I see colleagues fighting relegation and managing to keep their team in the division, for me, that is winning. Winning is not necessarily about being the guy that gets the cup. winning doesn’t mean bringing home a medal or a cup.”

“This is the most important thing in our sport, which is football: It’s to win – it’s not to sell philosophy. It’s not to sell excuses. It’s to be a winner.” 

“The team is the most important thing. Even if you are the best player in the world. A player with the biggest status in the club: the team is the most important thing.”

 “As a coach, you have to be soft and strong. Maybe soft is not the right word – you have to be open, very open to what the players think, to what the players feel – and not just to stick to your own ideas, because you work with a group. The group needs to have a voice; it needs to have an opinion, it needs to share. And you need to be open with the players to make it work as a team.”  

“You win three matches in a row, but it’s not heaven… because a defeat is coming. You lose two, three matches in a row; it’s also not hell, because you are going to get out of this dark moment, and you are going to win again.”  

“It’s very important to keep balance and this is something that I’ve learned a lot with experience. I think the more experience you have, the more balanced you are – and the players, they look at you and they see a rock – as well as someone they can trust.”

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