Jose Mourinho has explained how having to prepare his teams to deal with Barcelona star Lionel Messi made him ‘a better Coach’.
The Portuguese boss managed Los Blancos between 2010 and 2013 while he faced the Blaugrana on multiple occasions across La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League.
“In Madrid it was three good years, obviously with difficulties and problems, but it is part of professional life, which is not easy,” Mourinho told EFE, as cited by Marca.
“I have fantastic memories. The period that I have been in Madrid was difficult for the Madrid, a period in which Barcelona was dominating, not only at the level of results but also at the level of public opinion and played a very nice football, they had players of a creativity and a fantastic magic. We had to break with this pattern.
“I always say that I owe so much to my players, as to those who have not been my players and have created problems for me.
“For example, Messi never played on my team but I played against him and he has made me a better coach for having to prepare matches, for having to organise my team. When I talk about Messi I also talk about all the great players I have played against.
“I am friends with my presidents, even of the presidents who have sacked me, and that's how I like it to be. I have no problem telling you that when you leave after three years in Madrid, you are Real Madrid. Period. There are things that don't change.”