Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho has sensationally revealed that FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi had a huge impact on his managerial career as he learned new ways to set up his team while thinking of how to deal with the Argentine maestro.
Messi was a regular nemesis of Mourinho in Spain when he was Real Madrid's coach and he also faced Messi during his managerial spells with other clubs across Europe.
As reported by Marca, while speaking about the impact Messi had on him as a manager, Mourinho told EFE, "I always say that I owe so much to my players, and to those who haven't been my players but those who created problems for me."
Revealing how Messi made him a better coach, Mourinho stated, "For example, Messi never played for my team, but he played against me and he has made me a better coach for having to prepare matches [to stop him]. When I say Messi, I also mean the other great players I've faced."
🎙[MD] | Mourinho: "Messi made me a better coach"— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) September 13, 2019
🔊 "Messi never played for my team but I played against him and he made me a better coach for having to prepare matches, for having to organize my team [to face him]”, he said in an interview with EFE agency. pic.twitter.com/VaVRpjtaWq
The former Manchester United coach was also asked about his thoughts on his stint at Real Madrid. "I had three good years there," he said, "obviously with difficulties and problems, but that's professional life."
Speaking about his objectives at that time, Mourinho concluded, "It's not easy. I have fantastic memories. The time I had there was tough for Madrid, it was a period wherein Barcelona were dominant. We had to break that."