Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has revealed what happened between himself and Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic following an argument on the sidelines between the two in 2015.
Matic, who won a domestic double of the Premiere League and League Cup with Chelsea in the 2014/15 campaign, was reunited with Mourinho after joining Manchester United this summer with a £35m fee bringing him to Old Trafford.
However, despite the Portuguese manager’s fondness for the Serbian midfielder, he inflicted a great deal of humiliation upon his player during a 2015 game against Southampton.
After coming on as a second half substitute, Matic was given only half an hour on the pitch before being brought off again, understandably leaving the midfielder visibly disappointed.
Now, two seasons later, the mature reaction of Matic has stuck in the mind of Mourinho, with the Red Devils boss as he spoke out about the professionalism of his player.
In an interview with The Sunday Times the mercurial manager spoke of how impressed he has been with Matic, saying: “I cannot say I have had better guys in my career,
“The press wants a story, the press wants blood. My blood, or his blood, or both. He was really sad. I was also sad because it’s not something nice and it’s something I did only twice in my career.
“But the next day he comes to see me and he says, ‘I’m not happy, but it’s my fault. I’m not happy with what you did to me, but it’s my fault, because the way I was playing I can understand the change. So let’s keep going.'”
Despite Mourinho being given his marching orders following the loss at the hands of Ronald Koeman’s Southampton, the impression Matic left on him lasted, seeing him look to Serbian in his second year at Manchester United.