‘I told Michael Essien to stop calling me daddy because he’s almost same age’ Jose Mourinho

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, Jose Mourinho, recently spoke about his special relationship with African players, particularly focusing on the affectionate nickname “daddy” given to him by Michael Essien, one of his standout signings.

During an episode of the Vibe with Five podcast, Mourinho reflected on the deep respect he receives from African players, recognizing their genuine admiration and loyalty towards him.

“Whenever I visit Africa, I’m overwhelmed by the love I receive. Even in Europe, many African players hold me in high regard. And truth be told, I have a soft spot for them. I find African players to be incredibly loyal and sincere. Some even refer to me as ‘daddy,’ despite being close to my age,” Mourinho shared.

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While Mourinho appreciates the sentiment behind the nickname, he humorously expressed discomfort with Essien calling him “daddy,” given their similar ages.

“When Essien calls me ‘daddy,’ I playfully remind him, ‘Come on, Michael, we’re practically the same age,’” Mourinho joked.

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The bond between Mourinho and Essien transcends the realm of football, with Essien crediting Mourinho for his success. Essien played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s Premier League victory in the 2005-2006 season, cementing their father-and-son-like relationship.

Essien, along with other African stars like Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, and John Obi Mikel, were key signings by Mourinho, contributing significantly to his managerial triumphs at Chelsea.

Despite having managed several African talents, Mourinho shares a unique and special connection with Essien. Essien had the privilege of playing under Mourinho’s guidance twice, both at Chelsea and Real Madrid, further solidifying their bond both on and off the pitch.

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