Willian: Mourinho has always respected me

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Chelsea midfielder Willian insists there has always been a mutual respect between himself and manager Jose Mourinho.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk man was snaffled from under the noses of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 and has been a staple of the Special One’s starting XI, taking his Premier League appearance tally to 65.

Speaking exclusively in the October 2015 issue of FourFourTwo, the Brazilian says: “We have a great relationship. He has always respected me, and I truly respect him. It is a professional relationship of two guys with the same goal.”

I know I’ve got my tactical responsibilities at Chelsea – I must close spaces and help with marking. But I don’t really mind doing it. This is something you must do in modern football. Every single player has his defensive role to play. I also have freedom to attack and I try to give my contribution offensively

The Blues’ capture of Barcelona wideman Pedro sparked speculation that the Selecao man’s time at Stamford Bridge could be up, with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain suggested as potential destinations.

Yet the Spaniard’s arrival hasn’t affected Willian’s spot in Mourinho’s team; the indefatigable 27-year-old’s ability to gallop up and down the pitch aiding the Blues’ transitions from defence to attack and vice versa, widely seen as the reason why he's outlasted the since-departed Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle and Juan Cuadrado.

“I know I’ve got my tactical responsibilities at Chelsea – I must close spaces and help with marking,” he says. “But I don’t really mind doing it. This is something you must do in modern football. Every single player has his defensive role to play. I also have freedom to attack and I try to give my contribution offensively.”

Read the full interview with Willian in the October 2015 issue of FourFourTwo, in which he discusses Chelsea's Champions League prospects. The issue also features exclusive interviews with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Bayern Munich schemer Thiago, celebrates 60 years of the European Cup, hears from Raul in America and goes One-on-One with Jimmy Bullard. Subscribe!