Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic
A day after voicing his support for ousted Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho donned a shirt with the Italian manager’s initials when he met with the press Friday to preview Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton.
Mourinho explained that he wanted to pay tribute and admitted he’s struggling to accept Leicester’s decision to let Ranieri go.
“It’s my little homage to somebody that wrote the most beautiful history of the Premier League,” Mourinho said of the shirt, according to Manchester United’s website.
In the fallout since Thursday’s announcement, it’s been reported that there was unrest among players and that senior members of the team met with Leicester’s owner to voice their displeasure following the team’s loss to Sevilla in the Champions League.
Mourinho knows all too well how Ranieri must feel after losing his job at Chelsea last season despite hoisting the Premier League trophy less than a year before his dismissal.
However, Mourinho feels the circumstances surrounding Ranieri’s firing were far more egregious than the events that led up to his own dismissal and condemned the players for their perceived “selfishness.”
“When I was sacked as a champion (by Chelsea), it was a giant negative thing,” Mourinho said, according to Mark Ogden of ESPNFC. “But now I know it was peanuts in comparison.
“Nobody can delete what Claudio did. If some of the stories (about the players) are true, or just a little bit true, it is difficult to find words to justify that.
“Probably the season started with a typical selfishness of others – people thinking of new contracts, leaving, more money, forgetting who helped them reach a certain level.
“This is not just football. It is part of the world. Some principles are going away.
“I lived a similar experience, but peanuts compared to Claudio’s. But maybe it is Claudio’s fault. He is paying for his success.”