Sir Bobby Charlton criticised Jose Mourinho in 2012

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There will be plenty of Manchester United fans regretting their previous hatred towards Jose Mourinho now that the Portuguese has been appointed as their new manager.

While it’s easy for supporters to simply delete a tweet or a Facebook status with the click of a button, it’s much harder for club legends to hide their comments about Mourinho.

That’s the case for Sir Bobby Charlton.


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Charlton made 758 appearances for United during his playing days and is now a director and ambassador at Old Trafford - so his opinion is held in high regard at the club.

While he hasn’t spoken out about Mourinho’s appointment, we know exactly what he thinks of the Special One.

Charlton's interview

In an interview with Jamie Jackson, Manchester football correspondent for the Guardian, in December 2012, Charlton was asked about Mourinho’s unsavoury eye-gouging incident with Tito Villanova in 2011 and the 78-year-old offered his opinion.

"A United manager wouldn't do that," Charlton said.

"Mourinho is a really good coach but that's as far as I would go really.”

When Jackson suggested that a manager of Manchester United wouldn’t get away with some of the things Mourinho does, Charlton replied: "You are right. He pontificates too much for my liking. He's a good manager, though."

Ferguson's relationship with Mourinho

Much has been made of Sir Alex Ferguson’s strong relationship with Mourinho with that playing a factor in the appointment. However, although Charlton admitted that Ferguson and Mourinho have a good friendship, he claimed: "He doesn't like him too much, though.”


Despite his criticism, Charlton also believed that Mourinho was good enough to manage at any club in the world: "He can manage anywhere, absolutely." 

Little did he know that less than four years later he'd be representing his club.

Mourinho's relationship with Manchester United

It’s understandable that those associated with United disliked Mourinho. He was the manager of their title rivals, Chelsea, for more than five seasons - beating them to the Premier League title on three occasions.

But even before he arrived in England, Mourinho angered United fans. In the 2003/04 campaign, his Porto side knocked the Red Devils out of the Champions League with a last-minute goal prompting him to run down the touchline and celebrate flamboyantly.

But it appears that all is forgiven as the club begin to prepare for a new era under Mourinho. He is their third manager since Ferguson left at the end of the 2012/13 season and will look to improve on seventh, fourth and fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League and get them back to the top of English football.

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Bobby Charlton
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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