Former Chelsea star Michael Ballack has revealed that he signed for the Blues only after speaking to Jose Mourinho. The former Bayern Munich star signed for the Blues on a free transfer in the summer of 2006 and would finish his career there with seven trophies including one Premier League title.
However, Chelsea under Jose Mourinho in that first spell are considered to be one of the Premier League’s greatest ever sides and for good reason. They won two back-to-back league titles helped by the might of Roman Abramovich but struggled for dominance in the league after that. Manchester United’s return to the top saw the Blues phased out and Mourinho was sacked but they still managed to win trophies and even reached the Champions League final.
Yet, while Ballack was still there, the Blues failed to win the coveted European trophy but he did pick up the 2009/10 Premier League title under then manager Carlo Ancelotti. And yet when asked who convinced him to sign for Chelsea, the German went on to shower praise at Jose Mourinho. He also added that the now Tottenham boss was changing things at Chelsea and he wanted to be a part of that.
"It was important for me to talk to the coach. You really get caught by his personality and by his ambitions. Working with a coach like that was something totally new for me. He was impressive and I felt totally comfortable with the decision." I was experienced enough to understand. When you are not winning, the coach is more or less the weakest person in the team who can be replaced," Ballack told Sky Sports.
"He (Mourinho) was in his fourth year. If you look at the average time a manager has to work in a club, it was quite a good time. The way he worked was so intense that maybe you come to a point where things are not working anymore. It was more or less everyone's fault - the players' fault. It was not something we regret, though, we had to look forward.
Ballack would only spend four seasons at Chelsea before leaving back to Germany and Bayer Leverkusen but that wasn’t because they never offered him a new deal. Instead, the Blues tried to persuade the German to stay at the club and Ballack refused as he now admitted that he wanted a two year deal instead of the one year offer that Chelsea hand players above the age of 30.
"Carlo want me [to stay] but the club made a decision to only give players of that age a one-year contract. I wanted two. Today, I can say maybe it was wrong. I should have stayed, even for that one year. I could never imagine that I would go back to [Bayer] Leverkusen. Until the last day, I actually thought we would find a way at Chelsea. I was really hoping I could stay until the end,” he added.
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