Cristiano Ronaldo says he is not surprised to see Jose Mourinho and Chelsea struggling this season, but has backed his former manager to turn things around at Stamford Bridge.
The Real Madrid star played under the stewardship of Mourinho for three years at Real Madrid and saw enough of the self-proclaimed 'Special One' to know he can get himself out of the hole he is currently in.
Chelsea have lost six of their opening 11 Premier League games and sit 15th in the table. Their hopes of defending the title are all but over and their main concern is now whether they are able to finish in the top four.
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As a result, Mourinho's position in west London has become unstable with some reports suggesting a loss against Stoke City could prove fatal. However, Ronaldo is confident his fellow countryman has enough ability to salvage a bad situation.
Asked if he was surprised by Chelsea's fall from grace, Ronaldo told BBC Sport: "I'm not surprised because in football anything can happen. I'm not surprised.
"Of course he is a manager that I was working with for two years and I know his potential. I know him and Chelsea are going to pass this tough situation.
"As a Portuguese man, of course I want to see the Portuguese people at the top level all the time, so this is what I wish for him - that he can go through this bad situation and make Chelsea fans happy because I think they deserve it."
Coming to blows
Ronaldo may have given his backing to Mourinho in this interview, but it is common knowledge that the pair had a fractured relationship when they shared a dressing room in the Spanish capital.
The latest claim from 'Cristiano Ronaldo: Biography' by Guillem Balague, claims the pair almost came to blows after a Copa del Rey quarter-final against Valencia in 2013.
Balague wrote: "The player, unable to contain his fury, got up from the bench where he was changing and began shouting," said Balagué. “After everything I’ve done for you, this is how you treat me! How dare you say that to me?
"Many of the players who witnessed the scene had demanded that Mourinho, either directly or through the coaching staff, ask Ronaldo to defend more.
"The situation escalated to the point where Cristiano had to be held back (some sources say by Casillas, others say by Arbeloa and Khedira, or even Sergio Ramos) to prevent the pair from coming to blows."