football

‘He taught me to hate defeat’ – Kurt Zouma opens up on Jose Mourinho’s impact after arrival at Chelsea



Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has paid tribute to his former manager Jose Mourinho, for bringing him to English football back in 2014.

The French centre-back moved from Saint-Etienne to Stamford Bridge under the Portuguese boss, who ended his second stint at the club 18 months later.

Since then, Zouma has had spells out on loan with Stoke and Everton, before returning this term to fight for more regular game time under Frank Lampard.

And with Mourinho recently taking over at London rivals Tottenham, Zouma was asked his thoughts on the man who originally enticed him to the Premier League.

Zouma was naturally full of respect for the multiple title-winner, citing the mental boosts he was given by Mourinho.

“He is the one who opened the door of England to me. I was only 19 when I arrived there. That’s young,” he told France Football.

“It’s also him who gave me belief by playing me in big matches with a lot of intensity. It is also he who showed me what football in England was about.

“The coach is a man who detests losing. He taught me to hate defeat.

“Thanks to him, I got to enjoy myself at Chelsea. He has given me a lot of things and taught me an enormous amount. I thank him.”

Zouma was defeated at the weekend by Man City, as part of Lampard’s side which lost 2-1 at the Etihad.

Mourinho, meanwhile, picked up a win in his first game in charge of Tottenham.

Even so, six places and nine points separate the two teams, after Chelsea’s good start to the campaign which has seen Zouma feature in 12 of the 13 games thus far.

Zouma and Mourinho could meet on December 22, when Chelsea travel to Spurs in the Premier League.



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