Jose Mourinho reflects on Sir Bobby Robson memories
Exclusive: Former Man Utd and Chelsea manager speaks to Sky Sports News
By Gary Cotterill, Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 31/07/19 7:07pm
Jose Mourinho delved into his personal memories of Sir Bobby Robson on the 10th anniversary of his mentor's passing.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Mourinho gave a fascinating insight into Sir Bobby's personality, having been his assistant at Barcelona from the 1996/97 season at just 33-years-old.
Mourinho remembers Sir Bobby first as a person before anything football related, providing several touching anecdotes from his time with the former England manager.
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"What did he give me? I couldn't describe by words, and I wouldn't go in the football direction," he said.
"I would go more for who Mr Robson was as a man, as a person. That's the way I prefer to remember him. There are so many football memories and so many football moments, but the ones I keep are more the ones on the personal level.
"My little baby, a month of age, and me and Mr Robson watching football on TV, and Mr Robson with my baby in his arms…
"Me having lunch with him and I could never pay once because he was always saying: 'I have more money than you and I have less time to live than you, so with me you don't pay for one single lunch.' I never paid for one single lunch with Mr Robson…
"Mr Robson coming to the training ground and saying: 'What are you going to do? What's the training session? Because today I'm very focused on the golf match that I have after training so today you make the decisions'...
"After a defeat, Mr Robson was saying: 'Don't be sad, just think that in the other dressing room the other guys are jumping with happiness, so be happy for them'…
"Mr Robson doesn't come to my memory just for tactics or training or method, he comes to me as this person."
Sir Bobby enjoyed a four-year stint in Mourinho's native Portugal with Sporting Lisbon and Porto, winning two titles and a cup and leaving a mark on all football fans in the country.
Mourinho, a magnetic figure himself, insists football managers need charisma above all else. Sir Bobby, he says, had that quality in abundance.
"It's incredible what he means to the people and for me it's hard to speak about him," he said.
"I think the most important thing in a football manager is charisma. It comes in front of everything else. Academic qualifications, football experience, football knowledge, strategies of leadership.
"You can go for an incredible number of sciences that in this moment can make a football manager better, but above everything is charisma, and if you want an example of a manager with charisma, Mr Robson is, for sure, one who comes immediately to the discussion.
"He's a manager with charisma 50 years ago, 30 years ago, 10 years ago, in 2030. He was very, very, very charismatic."