In an interview with Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Roma manager José Mourinho talked about his experience in the football industry and discussed how he has changed since first entering the game.
“We are paid to win. Athletes, not men, are paid to win. We are talking about high performance, and sometimes there are decisions in the management of a team that have something cruel about them, there is no time to let them mature, to let them grow…”
The 59-year-old spoke of how costly mistakes can be in football and expressed his frustration with wasted talent.
“You pay for mistakes. If I make a mistake, I pay for it by being sacked. If a player makes a mistake, he pays for it by not playing in place of another. There’s something cruel about it, but we can’t let the nature of our work overlap with who we are as people.”
“I am very clear about that. I try to help others and myself to be better. One thing that’s hard for me to accept is the waste of talent, it’s something that still after 30 years of football, is hard for me to accept.”
“Sometimes, though, the waste of talent is linked to the life path that some players have had, and in that sense we have to try to be guides to the core. There is something cruel about high performance sport, particularly football, which is the most industrialised sport at all levels.”
Mourinho spoke about his development as a person and how his personal growth has helped him as a coach.
“I perceive my evolution as a person by thinking about the fact that for many years I wanted to win for myself, whereas now I’m in a moment where I continue to want to win with the same intensity as before or even greater, but no longer for myself, but for players who have never won, I want to help them…”
“I think much more of the ordinary fan who smiles because his team has won, of his week which will be better because his team has won. I’m still a “competition animal”, so to speak, I still want to win as much or more than before, but before I focused on myself…”
“On the way to a match, I mean leaving the hotel, getting off the bus, arriving at the stadium, the walk to the dressing room, the walk from the dressing room to the pitch before the start of the match, there is a lot of spirituality in all of this.”
“It is never a routine, no matter how many times you play in the same stadium, and you always do the same route, it is a moment that has something that you can’t see, but that you can feel a lot. I think it is of an enormous beauty and I think that the day I stop coaching, which I hope will not be soon, will be perhaps the thing that I will miss the most,” he said.
“To feel this dimension that takes me in directions that I have never shared with anyone, and that today perhaps I share for the first time. Walking towards the game and talking to Him…”