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It’s my time to honour Gerrard – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to Steven Gerrard
ahead of the Liverpool midfielder’s final visit to
Stamford Bridge on Sunday, AFP reports.
Gerrard and his Reds team-mates are expected to
provide a guard of honour for Mourinho’s
Chelsea side after the London club secured the
Premier League title last weekend.
But Mourinho said on Friday that the match
would also provide him with an opportunity to
recognise Gerrard’s career at Liverpool which will
come to a close at the end of the season when
the former England captain joins LA Galaxy in the
United States’ Major League Soccer.
The Chelsea manager admitted he tried to sign
Gerrard on four different occasions at three
different clubs but was denied by the player’s
unstinting loyalty to Liverpool.
Friday saw the Portuguese boss say he was more
concerned about acknowledging Gerrard, who
has never won the Premier League title, than he
was about Liverpool honouring his team.
“Liverpool is a giant club and if they want to do
that (provide a guard of honour) my players will
accept with respect,” Mourinho told a news
conference at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
“But speaking about Liverpool and honouring the
champions, it is my time to honour the champion.
“It’s my time to honour Steve Gerrard and say
with opponents like him that I am the manager I
am. I learn with my players and my best
“Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite
enemies and for sure my dear enemy, the one
who made me a better manager,” he explained.
“I need people like him to make me a better
Drawing comparisons with Frank Lampard’s
departure from Chelsea at the end of last season,
Mourinho said, “I am sad he is leaving the same
as our Frank Lampard, but Frank is a Chelsea
legend and it’s a different situation because
Steven was always on the other side.
“I tried to bring him (Gerrard) to Chelsea, I tried to
bring him to Inter, I tried to bring him to Real
Madrid but he was always with the enemy. I want
to honour him and I hope Stamford Bridge has
the same feeling.
“It’s too late to sign him,” lamented Mourinho.
“He can’t play against Liverpool, he refused to
play in other big clubs, other big leagues to play
only for Liverpool.
“Who knows, I play against Steven as a Liverpool
manager someday?”

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