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Jose Mourinho explains how Lionel Messi made him a better manager

Jose Mourinho, Lionel Messi

Jose Mourinho has praised Lionel Messi for making him a better coach.

The Portuguese, who has been out of work since leaving Manchester United (opens in new tab) last December, spent three seasons in charge of Real Madrid (opens in new tab) between 2010 and 2013.

Mourinho faced Messi's Barcelona side 13 times during that period, and he has also came up against the Blaugrana while at the helm of Chelsea (opens in new tab) and Inter (opens in new tab).

And Mourinho believes the experience of facing Messi was beneficial to him as a manager.

"I always say that I owe so much to my players, as to those who have not been my players and have created problems for me," he told EFE (opens in new tab).

"For example, Messi never played on my team but I played against him and he has made me a better coach for having to prepare matches, for having to organize my team. When I say Messi I also say all the great players I have played against."

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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).