Jose Mourinho reveals which England ‘golden generation’ midfielder he REALLY prefers…as he wades into the contentious debate during a tell-all sit down with Rio Ferdinand

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  • Mourinho discussed the burning question among English football supporters
  • Portuguese manager won three titles during his time in the Premier League 
  • CHRIS SUTTON: I wouldn’t be getting the bunting out at Man United just yet – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Jose Mourinho has waded into one of the most contentious debates in English football, offering his opinion on which of Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard was the superior player. 

The Portuguese boss appeared on the Rio Ferdinand Presents Five podcast, a month on from his sacking by Serie A side Roma in January. 

Mourinho had led the side to their first-ever European trophy in 2022 but was dismissed following continued poor league form – and an increased level of ill-discipline on the touchline. 

Among the most successful periods of his career came during his first spell with Chelsea, where he formed a seemingly unbreakable bond with a squad that included Lampard. 

Therefore, it’s little surprise the 61-year-old sided with the Blues legend, though he would not comment on which of the English trio was the better player.   

Jose Mourinho sat down with ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand on the latest episode of his podcast

Jose Mourinho managed Frank Lampard during his first spell with Chelsea from 2004-2007

Jose Mourinho managed Frank Lampard during his first spell with Chelsea from 2004-2007

Steven Gerrard led Liverpool to an improbable Champions League triumph in 2005

Paul Scholes won 11 Premier League titles during a trophy-laden Manchester United career

Mourinho refused to pick between the English trio but understandably admitted that neither Steven Gerrard (left) nor Paul Scholes (right) were his favourite

‘I cannot [chose], I cannot,’ Mourinho said. ‘If you ask me which one I prefer, Frank because he scored 500 goals for me. 

‘And the other ones, Scholes against me and Stevie G against me but phenomenal players.’

During his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho led Chelsea to consecutive Premier League titles with then record points totals. 

Lampard ascended to become one of the best players on the planet and even finished second – ahead of Gerrard – in 2005 Ballon d’or voting behind Ronaldinho. 

Mourinho claimed another top-flight English title on his return to Chelsea in 2015 before spells with Manchester United and Tottenham. 

During his revealing interview with the former Red Devil, the veteran coach discussed the oasis of world class options at England’s disposal which, in his view, should have led to a major tournament win. 

England's star studded roster came unstuck to Portugal on penalties in consecutive major tournaments

England’s star studded roster came unstuck to Portugal on penalties in consecutive major tournaments

‘To be honest I’ve always said, [with] Terry, Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher – who could not even get into the four – Scholes, Lampard, Gerrard, I was thinking.’

‘We should have won something,’ Ferdinand interrupted. 

‘You should,’ continued Mourinho. ‘But you were not far. When you lost to Portugal on penalties, I think that was the one for you.’ 

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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