Jose Mourinho has criticized the Leicester City players for putting themselves first and letting down manager Claudio Ranieri before he was sacked just nine months after winning the Premier League title.
Mourinho turned up for his weekly press conference on Friday with the initials ‘CR’ printed on the front of his training top in dedication to Ranieri after posting a picture of the two men on social media.
The Portuguese coach also experienced being sacked by Chelsea in December 2015, the season after leading them to the title, but said that was ‘peanuts’ compared to the way Ranieri has been treated by Leicester.
Jose Mourinho wore a shirt with the letters ‘CR’ on it in tribute to sacked boss Claudio Ranieri
But Mourinho saved his most scathing criticism for the Leicester players who are understood to have turned against their Italian manager as the fairy tale turned sour.
‘If some of the stories I am reading are true or are a little bit true, it’s hard to find words to justify that,’ he said. ‘As managers we have to be ready to cope with that.
‘Probably the season started with the typical selfishness of others, people thinking about new contracts, leaving, more money, forgetting who helped them to reach a certain level.
‘This is not just football it’s a bit of our world. Some principles are going away a little bit. I’m really sorry about it but I lived a similar experience. I thought last season when I was sacked as a champion it was a giant negative thing, now I realise it was peanuts to what happened with Claudio.’
Mourinho lines up alongside Ranieri in the tunnel ahead of this season’s Community Shield
Ranieri led relegation tipped Leicester to a hugely unexpected Premier League title last season
Asked about his tributes to Ranieri, Mourinho added: ‘It is my little homage to somebody that write the most beautiful history of the Premier League. Somebody that deserves the Leicester stadium to be named Claudio Ranieri (Stadium) and he is sacked.
‘Leicester made history two years in a row – one year because they did the most beautiful thing in the Premier League and one of most beautiful things in football history, now they are also in the highlights with the decision that I think has everyone in football united because it is something very very difficult to accept. It is good to realise how football is, and we need to adapt to it
‘My Instagram and shirt are homage. I don’t think he needs more homages because no-one can believe what he did. No one can do anything about it. No one can delete history.
‘I think it’s Claudio’s fault because if last season instead of being champion he finished 12th, it would be amazing and he would still be in a job because Leicester play not to be relegated. He’s paying for his success, it’s his fault.’
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