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 last December, spent three seasons in charge of Real Madrid 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 and Inter.

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.

"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."

READ MORE

What’s Lionel Messi like in real life? From mumbling diamond to mercurial genius – but still a man of few words

Roy Keane has a point about Alex Ferguson – but the feud proves why he'll never be a great manager

Andy Mitten column: Why Manchester United fans shouldn’t expect a high-profile sporting director