Jose Mourinho lavished praise on Tottenham Hotspur’s quick-thinking ball boy after their 4-2 win against Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Spurs were trailing 2-1 when the ball drifted out of play early in the second half.
The young lad quickly launched another ball to Serge Aurier, whose throw-in found Lucas Moura and the Brazilian squared for Harry Kane to equalise.
Tottenham went on to score two more goals and afterwards, Mourinho picked out the ball boy for special praise while remembering his own days as a ball boy.
“I love intelligent ball boys like I was. I was a brilliant ball boy as a kid," Mourinho told BT Sport. "And this kid today was brilliant.
“He reads the game, understands the game and made an important assist.
"He's not there just to look to the stands, lights or scarves. He's living the game and playing it very well."
It’s clear that Mourinho genuinely values ball boys, and doesn’t consider it to be a minor role.
And after Tottenham’s ball boy helped out his team on Tuesday, a clip of Mourinho discussing the importance of the role emerged on social media.
“There is one detail that some media got it. The ball boy,” the Portuguese coach told RT.
“I had a club where they never understood how important the ball boys are.
“You want a quick throw-in, the ball boy needs to know that you want a quick throw-in. The ball must arrive fast.
“The goalkicks, the tempo of the game... the ball boys, in a good structure, can also play a part."
Mourinho, who was once a ball boy in Portugal, continued: “I was a ball boy, a top ball boy… when I was a ball boy, I even knew where the players wanted the ball for a corner, so they didn’t need to touch the ball…
"I know that player A, from my home team, wants the ball in this part of the semi-circle. I know that the other one because he’s left footed, wants it here.
"A real football club, every detail is very, very important."
The 56-year-old was speaking after Liverpool’s thrilling win over Barcelona in the Champions League last season.
Liverpool lost the first leg 3-0 but won 4-0 in the return fixture, in no small part thanks to the work of a ball boy.
Youngster Oakley Cannonier quickly gave Trent Alexander-Arnold a ball and the right-back took the corner that Divock Origi scored from.
Mourinho added: “In this game, the kid, very intelligent, very bright.
“I don’t know if he is an academy player or not, but the kid knew what he was going to do.”
You get the feeling that Mourinho could write an entire essay on ball boys and their importance.News Now - Sport News