Ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has expressed love for Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea coach who’s now managing the Manchester United squad.
Begovic, 30, says Mourinho is better than Antonio Conte, his Italian counterpart at Stamford Bridge, and there are reasons for his controversial judgement.
Image: Asmir Begovic
The player from Bosnia and Herzegovina played under both coaches at Chelsea before moving over to Bournemouth last May. He currently serves as the team’s vice-captain.
Begovic joined Chelsea in July, 2015 for £8 million, and has been a second-choice goalkeeper before the decision to leave. His transfer was made possible by the Portuguese coach who offered him 19 slots before leaving The Blues in December.
Despite Conte’s amazing run in the remarkable 2016-17 season which ended in victory, Begovic says he prefers The Special One.
Speaking with UK’s Metro in an interview, the former Portsmouth and Stoke City player said: “The way he thinks about the game, the way he works with players was incredible to see.
“Obviously, he brought me to Chelsea so I’m grateful to him for that.
“I was lucky to play under many good managers but I would definitely put him on top of the pile.
“I learned a lot from him in the short space of time we worked together.”
However, Begovic added some consolatory words for Conte, who led Juventus to multiple victories and won with Chelsea in his first Premier League experience.
Speaking about the Italian tactician, his new signing Bakayoko, and football philosophy, he added : “Conte was good. He was very intense, very intense in his work, very driven in his structure and the way of playing.
Image: Tiemoue Bakayoko
“I like the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko, I think he will be a good player for them,” he said.
“They have a good squad and they have not got that much to change. I think the heart of that squad is still there and they won the title last year.
“It is the second year for the manager so there are many things he can still teach them. He is all about togetherness as a team so maybe it is not all about individuals or marquee signings.
“It is about the team doing the right things, playing for each other and I think that is their biggest strength. I expect them to be challenging for all the major titles once again.”
Begovic is also a goalscorer. His goal against Southampton on 2 November 2013 within 13 seconds, at a distance of 97.5 yards, made history in Guinness World Records (2015).
The unbelievable goal against Artur Boruc remains the ‘Longest Goal Scored in Football.’
However, a humble Begovic said he felt sad after his long kick-out down the field deceived the opposing goalkeeper.
“It’s a cool feeling but it was a fortunate incident. I feel a bit bad for Boruc. It is a long ball that got caught in the wind and it took a wicked bounce. It’s not nice to be on the receiving end of those things as a goalkeeper. It does not make a goalkeeper look good and after it I did not want to celebrate out of respect for him.”— Begović speaks after scoring against Southampton.