Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed why Paul Pogba came out on top in their tete-a-tete battle at Old Trafford, explaining he risked the sack every time he attempted to confront the Frenchman for his wrongdoings.
Throughout his tenure in Manchester, Mourinho had several high-profile disputes with Pogba, stripping him of the vice-captaincy in September, and it is understood this breakdown in relations was a prime reason for his eventual sacking in December.
Speaking at a coaching seminar in Portugal, as quoted by the Telegraph, Mourinho used an example of Pogba’s decision to travel back from a clash at Burnley in his Rolls Royce instead of the team bus to explain the difficulties for a manager in this age of player empowerment.
Without using the player’s name overtly, the Portuguese tactician explained: “We would play a team that was 30 kilometres from Manchester and a player asked me if after the game he could return to Manchester without the team and go on his own.
“I told him, ‘If we went to London and you wanted to stay there, that would be one thing. But this is close, it doesn’t make sense’.
“The guy was upset. But then we won the game and he asked me again. Because I was happy, I gave in a little and said, ‘At least leave on the bus and ask your chauffeur to catch up with you 10 minutes from the stadium, then go as you wish’.
“And this guy in the locker-room still wasn’t happy. I went to the press conference and when I arrived at the team bus, parked beside it was a Rolls-Royce with his chauffeur.”
He ended the story by clarifying how powerless he was to stop this at United, proclaiming: “After all, the car was new and His Excellency would like to leave the stadium in his Rolls-Royce. Now how do we deal with this? You [tell him] never go in the Rolls? You can go when I’m happy? Or you solve this thing in another way to get me ‘on vacation’.”