Cristiano Ronaldo used to argue with Jose Mourinho about being subbed off – even when Real Madrid were 5-0 up, his old boss reveals… as he explains why you ‘can’t coach’ the superstar

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Jose Mourinho has revealed he used to argue with Cristiano Ronaldo when he wanted to substitute the star off at Real Madrid – but he was so talented he didn’t need coaching.

Mourinho led the Bernabeu club between 2010 and 2013, with Ronaldo a major weapon as they took on Pep Guardiola‘s Barcelona.

The Portuguese coach has told Rio Ferdinand‘s FIVE show it was impossible to tell Ronaldo to relax as he was so driven to accomplish more.

‘You have guys like Cristiano, where you are playing against Levante and you are winning five-nil and you tell the guy to relax and take a rest,’ Football.com global ambassador Mourinho said.

‘No, no, no, I can score one more goal!’ When you have guys like this, you know the boat is in the water and you just let the boat go and in the end you enjoy the fight.’

Jose Mourinho has spoken about how he used to argue with Cristiano Ronaldo when it came to substituting the superstar off at Real Madrid

Mourinho said Ronaldo is so naturally talented and determined you don't need to coach him

Mourinho said Ronaldo is so naturally talented and determined you don’t need to coach him

Mourinho was talking about the intense rivalry between his Real side and Guardiola’s stylish Barcelona team which boasted Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

In his first season, Real beat Barcelona 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final thanks to Ronaldo’s towering header in extra time, before they pipped their rivals to the LaLiga title the following year.

‘For us to win the league, we did 100 points. You knew that if you didn’t do 98, 99, 100, you don’t win it,’ Mourinho added.

‘You are then in trouble because Barcelona wins and the next season, the previous season, when Barcelona wins. I think we lost with 92 points or 91 points, something like that.

‘So you know that if you made a mistake, you are in trouble.’

Asked about what it was like to work with Ronaldo each day on the training ground, Mourinho said the player’s natural abilities made him a dream to work with.

‘I think you don’t coach [him]. You don’t teach much, it’s about being happy and it’s about creating an environment from the tactical point of view, from the ideas of football, where the player can show,’ he said.

Ronaldo scored a towering header in extra time as Real beat Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey

Ronaldo scored a towering header in extra time as Real beat Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey

Ronaldo can't hide his delight after scoring the winner as Mourinho defeated Pep Guardiola

Ronaldo can’t hide his delight after scoring the winner as Mourinho defeated Pep Guardiola 

‘Madrid for him was a little bit of a transition because for you he was a winger – left winger, right winger, dribbling, attacking people, beating people.

‘In Madrid, he became more the goalscorer that he was for the rest of his career.

‘In fact, probably the first time he played a big match as a striker was Real Madrid vs Barcelona in a cup final where he scored an amazing goal with an amazing header in extra time. 

‘Probably that was the first time people got the feeling that animal could be a goalscorer and not just a pure winger.

‘Madrid was a bit of a hybrid because he was playing from the left but he was not wide and not chasing full-backs and we were protecting him with the balance being with Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira.

Mourinho helped Ronaldo adapt from playing as a winger to more of a centre forward

Mourinho helped Ronaldo adapt from playing as a winger to more of a centre forward

‘That is the position when they can be more effective and score more goals.

‘Cristiano, you know him as well as I do and almost in consecutive years. Motivation, you don’t need to give him. Ambition, you don’t need to give him. Technique, you don’t need to give him. 

‘You give some tactical adjustments and let the guy be happy.’

All three parts of the interview will be available on FIVE’s YouTube – The full interview with José Mourinho will be available on @FIVEUK’s audio platforms, Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts. 



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