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Mohamed Salah played like Lionel Messi in training at Chelsea and José Mourinho couldn’t get the best of the star forward, according to former Blues teammate Filipe Luis.
Chelsea bought Salah from the Premier League in January 2014 after paying a £ 11 million fee with Swiss team Basel.
But it was an unhappy period for Mourinho’s Egyptian international, with Salah starting just 10 matches, scoring two goals and providing three assists before being sent on loan to Fiorentina a year later.
A stint at Roma followed him through La Viola and it was his impressive performances in Serie A that convinced Liverpool to give him a second chance at English football.
With the Reds, Salah has become a Premier League and Champions League winner, and Filipe Luis, who has similar difficulties making his way into Mourinho’s plans, said his talent was always evident at Stamford Bridge.
“I won the league with him [Mourinho]. But he didn’t get the best of me, like he didn’t with Salah, ”the former Brazilian international told The Guardian.
“When he went to Fiorentina, I said to him: ‘Why are you going, Momo? This is Chelsea. ‘ And he said, ‘I need to play. I thought, ‘This guy is good.’ It was never for money or to earn more; he went to show that he could play. In training he was like Messi. Really, like Messi. Ask anyone “.
– Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) February 17, 2021
Filipe Luis arrived at Chelsea in July 2014 after winning LaLiga with Atlético de Madrid, a club with which he was also champion of the Copa del Rey and Europa League and runner-up in the Champions League before moving to London.
Despite his reputation as one of the best left-backs in the world at the time, Mourinho allowed him just 26 appearances in all competitions and nine starts in the Premier League.
Reflecting on that moment in his career, however, Filipe Luis insists that he does not hold a grudge towards Mourinho and accepts the form of César Azpilicueta, which means he might have few complaints.
“I haven’t told anyone this, but the first game I called [Jose] Mourinho has finished ”, he said. “‘Can I speak to you?’ “Go ahead.” ‘Why did you bring me here? You took me out of a place where I was happy, where I played every week. You hired me to play. And the first day against Burnley I’m on the bench. Why don’t you let me go at Atlético? Why are you bringing me here so I don’t play?
“He said he didn’t think I was playing well and Azpilicueta did, that he didn’t feel so safe with me. I had to earn my place; He couldn’t hope to be the first choice in reputation. And looking back, he was right.
“He played so well that he never gave me a chance. Mourinho rotated, so I did have chances, but I didn’t start big games because the team was playing perfectly. We had great players. Eden Hazard, [Cesc] Fábregas, Diego Costa ”.
Hazard, a great player in today’s Blues, was a player Filipe Luis was particularly enthralled with.
“Along with Neymar, Eden is the best I have played with. He’s up there with Messi, winning matches alone.
“He didn’t run much to defend, he didn’t train well and five minutes before the games he would play with Mario Kart in the locker room. He trained and warmed up untied laces. But he would go out and nobody could take the ball. He would dribble three or four. They got too close, he would just walk away, so powerful.
“So smart: one-two, combine, go alone; attend, write down, everything. Maybe he lacks the ambition to say ‘I’ll be the best in the world’, because he could be. For talent, the best.
“Cesc also had an extraordinary season. And Costa. So the defense was incredible. John Terry is one of the best captains I have ever had. Even the bench: Oscar, Obi Mikel, Mohamed Salah, [Andre] Schurrle, Kurt Zouma, [Didier] Drogba, Loic Remy. Some team. “