Former Chelsea right-back Juliano Belletti has revealed that Jose Mourinho left Stamford Bridge in 2007 because of a disagreement with the club’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich over player signings.
The retired Brazil international, who was the final signing made by Mourinho during the Portuguese coach’s first spell at Chelsea, told Goal.com at a Heineken-sponsored event in Rio de Janeiro this week that there was a “fight” - presumably a verbal disagreement rather than any fisticuffs - between the two men.
However, Belletti understands that the relationship between the pair has now been resolved, with Mourinho now in full control of player signings at Stamford Bridge.
Belletti reveals why Mourinho left Chelsea
“It was all about a discussion that they [Mourinho and Abramovich] had relating to hiring players,” the former Barcelona defender, who scored the winning goal in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal commented. “It was a fight between them. Mourinho never wanted to leave. Of course I was surprised because it was him who hired me. I went to Chelsea to work with him. But that very year we reached the final of the Champions League.
“I talked with people from Chelsea about his return, and things with Abramovich are far easier for him now. Mourinho has control.”
Mourinho's exit stunned the world
Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea stunned the football world in September 2007 because nobody had seen it coming.
But following successful spells with Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Abramovich knew that Mourinho - who was still idolised by the Chelsea fans - was the only man to replace Rafael Benitez in the summer of 2013 and subsequently struck a deal to bring him back to west London.
Mourinho now happy at Chelsea
With full control of transfers, Mourinho appears to be happy and settled at the Bridge, and has reiterated his desire to stay with Chelsea for many years to come on several occasions this season.
Following a trophy-less first season back at the Bridge, Mourinho is set to end his second campaign with winners’ medals for both the Capital One Cup and the Premier League.
Regrets about this season
There will, however, still be bitter disappointment inside the Chelsea dressing room - with Mourinho in particular - that the Blues are no longer competing in this season’s Champions League campaign.
Despite the fact they had home advantage - not to mention a man advantage for 60 minutes of normal time plus an additional 30 minutes of extra time - against Paris Saint-Germain, it was the French champions who advanced to the quarter-finals.
Chelsea were also dumped out of the FA Cup by League One outfit Bradford City - another trophy that was winnable for Mourinho’s men fell by the wayside.
There’s little doubt, though, that Mourinho is the perfect manager for Chelsea - and Abramovich will surely do his utmost do ensure things are different this time around.
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