Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho pays glowing tribute to ‘dear enemy’ Steven Gerrard

first_img Steven Gerrard and Jose Mourinho Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has offered a glowing tribute of ‘favourite enemy’ Steven Gerrard with the two set to go head to head for the last time in their careers on Sunday.The Liverpool captain will end a memorable 17 years as a professional at Anfield at the end of the season after agreeing to begin a new chapter at LA Galaxy in the MLS.Liverpool are set to honour the newly-crowned Premier League champions with a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge, but Mourinho admitted his focus will be on appreciating Gerrard’s career instead.“If they want to do that [form a guard of honour], obviously my players are going to accept that with respect,” said the Blues’ boss.“But speaking about Liverpool and speaking about honouring the champions, this is my time to honour a champion. It is my time to honour Steven Gerrard.“Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite enemies – an enemy with all the good feeling I can express with that word in football.”Mourinho has enjoyed a hugely successful two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge, and he heralds the Reds’ captain as a significant factor in helping him learn and strive to be the best.“For sure, in England he is my dear enemy. For sure, he is the one that made me a better manager. To stop him or try and stop him has been very, very difficult,” said the 52-year-old.“It is with opponents like him that I am the manager that I am, because I learn with my players and I learn with my best opponents.”The ‘Special One’ also reiterated he tried to sign Gerrard on numerous occasions during his career, but admitted he doesn’t regret not being able to secure a deal for the Liverpool man.He said: “I tried to bring him to Chelsea, I tried to bring him to Inter [Milan], I tried to bring him to Real Madrid but he was always a dear enemy.“I want to honour him and I hope Stamford Bridge has the same feeling as I have, which is we need people like him as our opponents.” 1last_img

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