Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo has opened up about Jose Mourinho’s important influence on his career during the pair’s time at Porto together.
Nuno, whose Wolves side topped the Championship last season, was part of the team which won the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2004.
They also have a mutual agent in Jorges Mendes and will play each other for the first time at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash, Nuno recalled how Mourinho instilled a faultless fighting spirit into that Porto team.
“[I learned] a lot,” he said. “In that moment, what we had, the group of players we had, the way Mourinho manages and made us believe that it was possible to do what we did as a squad. We won everything, and it was absolutely fantastic.”
“You take from everyone. When you have such success it’s because you do things right. Of course you learn a lot as a player when you pay attention to managers when they speak to you.”
Nuno is not the only manager to view Mourinho as a kind of managerial fatherly figure. Many in the Premier League and beyond, such as Marco Silva and Aitor Karanka, have spoken of how Mourinho helped pave the way for them to enter top level management.
Many often forget that, before Mourinho, Portugal was a country with top footballers like Luis Figo and Joao Pinto but without any top managers. The 55-year-old changed that significantly, and he will always be a legend in his homeland because of it.