Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho says he will miss receiving phone calls from Diego Maradona that were made to lift his spirits after losing matches.
The football world is in mourning after the passing of the iconic former player this week.
Tributes have flown in from across the world after it was confirmed on Wednesday that the Argentina, Napoli and Boca Juniors hero suffered a fatal heart attack on Wednesday.
Mourinho says that while the world already knows about the World Cup winner’s exploits on the field and can relive them with a simple internet search, he will always miss the man behind the legend who was quick to give him a call after a disappointing result.
“There is Maradona and there is Diego. Maradona I don’t need to speak about because the world knows and nobody will forget,” he told BT Sport before his side beat Ludogorets 4-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.
“Diego is different, the people that are the big friends of him, the people that share dressing rooms with him, colleagues, these guys are privileged.
“I can say he was a good friend of mine, but my contacts with him were by telephone and we met of course a few times.
“I spent the day today telling stories to my guys about him and the time we spent together and that’s the guy I miss. I especially miss the phone call that was always arriving after defeats and never after victories.
“He knew that after victories I don’t need phone calls, he knew that in difficult moments he was always there and he was always saying after defeats: ‘Mo, don’t forget you are the best’. He always had this approach.
“I miss Diego.”
Maradona’s body is lying in honour at the presidential mansion in Buenos Aires during three days of mourning. Thousands turned out to pay their respects, but the day was marred when clashes between police and mourners erupted. Goal