• Premier League

Mourinho hurt by 'selfish' national teams

ESPN staff
October 20, 2014
Costa sits out of training ahead of Maribor clash

Jose Mourinho is "hurt" by the way some "selfish" national federations "simply do not care" to liaise with Chelsea over player fitness and says Diego Costa is out of Tuesday's Champions League match with Maribor with a hamstring injury.

While Mourinho did not directly name Spain, the implication was clear, as he later complained that he has never received a phone call from Vicente Del Bosque, the country's coach. The Chelsea manager spoke at length about national federations who do not regularly check in on the fitness habits of their players.

Mourinho said that Costa is now out with "an injury, not an almost injury" and that he has "no idea" how long the absence will be. He had said the striker had a "very little" chance of facing Manchester United next weekend, but on Monday would only say: "Tomorrow, he cannot play. After that, let's see."

Mourinho had previously made sarcastic jibes about how Spain had used Costa for "big games" such as Slovakia and Luxembourg and on Monday spoke about how there are "no laws" to guide the situation, "just the mentality of national team coaches and national teams".

He said: "It's up to them, to take care of players, or be selfish. I don't tell players not to [with their national teams]. I stimulate players to go - I like players to go. We like our players to succeed in national teams and play in big competitions, like the European Championships and World Cup, so we are always positive about our players to go.

"Sometimes you have national coaches and medical departments that want to establish a relationship and they are interested in the players, their physical condition, their habits.

"Some others they simply don't care. This is not something we can resolve. I cannot ring the federations and say I want to speak to the coach, or the doctor wants to speak to their doctor. It's something I cannot resolve.

"I had in my career others in permanent contact. I have others where, year after year, I don't have a single SMS or phone call.

"From our point of view, we will keep our way of thinking or feel for the national teams. Players should be proud to play for national teams."

Mourinho then revealed that the only manager to contact him during the last week was England's Roy Hodgson. "We have a correct relation," Mourinho said. "He called me once, the time he called me was completely open.

"Last week, [Gary] Neville was here as journalist, but if Gary wants to come here as assistant, the door is open. Even more open than as journalist!

"This is the situation, the only one from all national teams that had personal, direct contact with me. For example, when I was with Real Madrid and Luka Modric, Igor Stimac [the coach of Croatia] would have three phone calls a week."

Mourinho was then directly asked whether he had ever received a phone call from Del Bosque. "No," he replied and added: "It hurts, but we have to live with this situation. I don't say it's compulsory for players to come back in good conditions."

Mourinho also confirmed that both Andre Schurrle and Ramires are out for Tuesday's match.

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