Thursday , April 18 2024
Fellaini

FELLAINI: MOURINHO’S MESSAGES MEAN A LOT

When Marouane Fellaini announced his retirement from professional football last month, the former United midfielder was the subject of a reverent social media post from Jose Mourinho.

Fellaini played under Mourinho during the latter’s two-and-a-half years as manager at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2019, and the player’s efforts across this time were appreciated by his old boss recently on Instagram.

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On our latest episode of the UTD Podcast, available to listen to and watch from 18:00 BST on Monday 1 April, Marouane responds to those words and explained that the pair’s working relationship got off on the right foot following another direct message to him from Jose, when the Portuguese coach was first appointed at United.

“I never met him before [then]. I played against [his teams]. But to meet him, never,” Fellaini begins, speaking to co-hosts Helen Evans and Sam Homewood.

“But I remember he sent me a message in the summer to say to me: ‘You go nowhere, you know? I count on you.’ So, first of all, this is a big boost.

“So, when you arrive at the pre-season, it was after Euro 2016. I was on holiday, the team was already training, and I arrived late because of the pre-season [tour].

“I was training with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic one week in Carrington and after that the team arrived from the pre-season. But, first of all, directly Mourinho gave me his trust and I had to give him back with everything I can.

“I had good training with him, I never had a problem with him.

“I gave everything to him, but with all the coaches, I never cheated, I never had problem with the coaches. I always respect their decisions.

“But it’s true with Mourinho, it was great to work under him.”

The former Belgium international played the majority of his 177 games for the Reds under Jose’s tenure, 47 of which came in the Portuguese’s first season at the club – 2016/17 – which Marouane recalls in his podcast as his most enjoyable campaign as a Red.

“We won the League Cup, we won the Community Shield, we won the Europa League,” he says, looking back.

“Three trophies in one year, I played I think around 50 games and [in] more than half [of the matches] I played like a starter.

“So, it was an amazing season for me.”

You can listen to and watch Marouane Fellaini’s UTD Podcast in full on the United App and ManUtd.com from 18:00 BST on Easter Monday (1 April).



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About Alex Itoro

Music and movie pundit

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