Jose Mourinho’s perfection can rub many up the wrong way, including the organiser of the International Champions Cup.
The Manchester United manager has been branded a “pain in the butt” after he was unhappy during the pre-season tournament this summer, insisting that he could not utilise a full-strength side due to World Cup commitments faced by his players.
And ICC organiser Charlie Stillitano admits that the Portuguese can be difficult to deal with.
“Yeah we had a few cheeky words together,” Stillitano told ESPN.
“He’s a good man and he’s been really good to us and I understand him better than most I’d say.
“I think managers that I know see us as the guys who take them abroad. And for them the reality is that they take it very seriously. The managers take it very seriously. And the commercial people take it very serious for their business to grow their brand.
“But the managers take it more than anybody, want the right atmosphere, want the right training environment. They want to prepare their team and our tournament has become the best tournament of its kind, and its kind is really to prepare the team, so they take it very seriously.
“And Jose, he’s a pain in the butt when it comes to making sure everything is perfect at his training facility. And I would expect whatever teams come over from La Liga are going to torture me too in the same way to make sure that everything is perfect.”
Stillitano carefully refers to the commercial people, who at United, even angered previous managers for overstepping their mark on tour. There must be nothing worse for a manager than having commercial groups taking your players from preparations to sell the latest merchandise, but it’s important football clubs find a balance to keep everyone happy.
At United, I don’t get the impression there is a balance. The priority is to make money rather than be successful on the pitch. That’s embarrassing for a football club.
And we don’t expect things to change anytime soon.
Mourinho, on the other hand, will always push for the best training environment for his players. It’s required to get the very best out of them and he’s a coach that looks at the minor details.