Jose Mourinho: Picking Ex-Tottenham Hotspur coach's best African XI

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Mikel, Mourinho, Essien
As the Portuguese coach steps away from Tottenham Hotspur, Goal pick his Dream XI of African charges

  1. Goalkeeper
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    Yves Ma-Kalambay is the only African goalkeeper to have worked with Mourinho during his time in England, although the Congolese stopper never truly made the breakthrough at Chelsea.

    He was part of the squad during the 2006-07 season, but didn't play a senior game, and has been without a club since leaving Wycombe Wanderers in 2019.

    The keeper made his DRC debut in 2010.

  2. Left-back
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    Celestine Babayaro was a Chelsea favourite for eight years and endeared himself to the fans with his athletic displays, as well as his eccentric somersault goal-celebration.

    The Nigerian defender was voted one of the Blues’ best ever full-backs in a poll on Chelsea TV, and the end of his time at Stamford Bridge overlapped with Mourinho's arrival.

  3. Centre-back
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    Eric Bailly was criticised by Mourinho, but his raw talent isn't in any doubt, and the centre-back did enjoy a successful first campaign at Old Trafford under the Portuguese coach.

    Injury problems have continued to affect the Ivorian's ability to make his mark at Old Trafford this season.

  4. Centre-back
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    Papy Djilobodji is somewhat fortunate to make this dream team, considering the fact that he never made a league appearance for Chelsea after being signed from FC Nantes.

    It was an intriguing deal for the towering Senegal international, although his career has been on a downward spiral since and, at 32, he's currently playing for Gaziantep in Turkey.

  5. Right-back
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    Victor Moses's greatest contribution to Chelsea came following Mourinho's departure, as the wideman enjoyed title success under Antonio Conte.

    He duly returned to the peripheries under Maurizio Sarri, having been returned to the more advanced role he typically played under previous coaches, and is currently with Spartak Moscow.

  6. Right winger
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    Right winger

    Mourinho has been criticised for not giving Salah ample opportunity at Chelsea, particularly considering what the forward has achieved since leaving Stamford Bridge.

    Indeed, gametime was scarce in West London, but few could have foreseen Salah's progress in recent seasons. 

    He only managed two in 13 for the Blues, but has since become a goal machine, club legend, and Premier League/Champions League winner with Liverpool.

  7. Centre-midfield


    John Obi Mikel was a fine servant for Chelsea, serving the Londoners for over a decade.

    In his long and distinguished career at Stamford Bridge, he won every competition worth winning both in Europe and domestically.

    He left the club for Tianjin TEDA after being deemed surplus to requirements by Conte, but is still remembered fondly in the blue half of West London and owes a lot to Mourinho.

  8. Centre-midfield


    Perhaps the footballing world never saw the absolute best of Essien’s talent, as injury steadily undermined his dynamism, aggression and offensive contribution.

    Certainly, by the time he joined AC Milan in 2014, his best days were behind him, although in his prime, Essien was a remarkable physical specimen who ran the show for Chelsea.

    The Indonesia-based powerhouse won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during his time in London, and still enjoys a close relationship with 'Daddy' Mourinho.

  9. Left winger

    Left winger

    Salomon Kalou was an underrated figure at Chelsea.

    His 36 goals in 152 appearances for the club in a six-year spell don't get the appreciation they deserve considering the Ivorian winger played mostly off the bench.

    He won the Champions League in 2012, the Nations Cup with the Cote d'Ivoire in 2015, and is currently without a club after leaving Botafogo.

  10. Striker


    Didier Drogba has been voted Chelsea’s best-ever player by the fans, which, in itself, speaks volumes of the impact he made at the London outfit, particularly under Mourinho.

    Capable of the spectacular at any given moment, Drogba scored 136 goals in 381 appearances for the Blues and provided many a captivating display in the famous blue shirt.

    He is a bona fide Blues legend and was the key figure in 2012 as the Pensioners became the first London club to win the Champions League.

  11. Striker


    Samuel Eto’o arrived at Stamford Bridge in the twilight of his career but still showed glimpses of his ability in his 12 months at the club.

    Having played for Mourinho at Inter Milan, he joined the Portuguese manager at the London giants in 2013 and managed a memorable hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Manchester United, one of his better performances for the Blues.

    Elsewhere, Eto'o won three Champions League titles, a host of domestic honours in Italy and Spain, and two Nations Cups.

    The Cameroon international has discussed, at length, the respect he has for the ex-Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur coach.