World Cup winning midfielder says he's in contact with Mourinho, raves over Tottenham boss

Sam Preston November 18, 2020
World Cup winning midfielder says he's in contact with Mourinho, raves over Tottenham boss
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho go head to head once again this weekend when Tottenham take on Manchester City.

The pair have locked horns at Barcelona and Real Madrid, and also while Mourinho was a local rival of Guardiola’s at Manchester United.

Cesc Fabregas played under both men and has commented to ESPN about his relationship with both managers.

He said Guardiola was his idol but they’re no longer in touch, and that he remains friends with Mourinho and in regular contact with him.

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“Mourinho inspired me the most when I left Barca,” said Fabregas. “He told me that we had had our issues on the pitch when he was at Chelsea and I was at Arsenal; when he was at Real Madrid and I was at Barcelona.

“But for him, it all ended there. We turned the page. He told me about his project. I had to go where I thought I would do best, the decision was mine and it didn’t depend on what people said.

“I prioritised the professional [aspect], and today I still write to him and I consider him a friend. He helped me a lot at a difficult time in my career and perhaps I played one of my best seasons with him.”

By contrast, Guardiola and 2010 World Cup winner Fabregas, both men steeped in the traditions of Barcelona, do not speak.

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At the moment, it’s Mourinho who’s doing a better job of steering his side towards a title challenge.

Spurs sit second in the table, five points and eight places ahead of City, who have struggled at both ends of the pitch so far.

That adds extra spice to Saturday’s game, and most observers will expect City to try to take the initiative, with Spurs countering when they can.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.