Begovic: Mourinho’s a manager you want to fight for
The current champions are toiling in the Premier League with nine defeats from their first 16 games, leaving them 16th in the table just two points above the relegation zone.
Mourinho has been under pressure since steering his side to the title last season, but Begovic insists the Portuguese is the man Chelsea’s players still want to play for.
He makes you feel very comfortable when you go out on the pitch. He’s just the manager that you want to fight for
“He ticks all the boxes really; his understanding of the game, his preparation for the game, his motivational skills,” said the Bosnian, answering readers’ questions in an exclusive interview with FFT (the full version of which you can see below).
“He makes you feel very comfortable when you go out on the pitch. He’s just the manager who you want to fight for and play for.”
Chelsea have struggled across the board this season, highlighted by the dip in form of last season’s PFA Player of the Year, Eden Hazard.
The Belgian hasn’t scored since May 3 against Crystal Palace – a run stretching 26 competitive matches – having netted 19 times in all competitions last term.
But Begovic maintains high praise for the 24-year-old.
“[The best player I’ve played with is] probably Eden Hazard,” said the goalkeeper. “He’s just got God-given talent. Some of the stuff that he can do and the skills that he has are something you can only imagine doing and dream of doing. That’s what makes him one of the world’s best players.”
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Begovic was born in Yugoslavia but his family first moved to Germany when he was four, then Canada six years later. He featured for the Canucks’ U20s before pledging allegiance to the Bosnia-Herzegovina national team in 2009.
As such, the well-travelled 28-year-old’s sporting interests aren’t confined to the football pitch.
I grew up in Canada, so in the winter we didn’t have a lot of chance to play football and I had to do other stuff to keep me fit
“I’m a sports nut so I follow everything; basketball, baseball, American Football, hockey, tennis,” Begovic revealed.
“It’s all I pretty much watch. I grew up in Canada, so in the winter we didn’t have a lot of chance to play football and I had to do other stuff to keep me fit and active.
“I got into basketball and actually really enjoyed it as well, but once I got to the age of 14 I gave up everything else to focus solely on football.”