Mourinho the best manager I worked under – Former Chelsea midfielder Essien

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Former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Michael Essien has described Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho as the best manager he worked with in his playing career.

Mourinho brought Essien to England for a reported club-record fee after his fine performances in Ligue 1, where he won back-to-back top-flight titles with Lyon.

Essien established himself as a key player for Chelsea under Mourinho between 2004 and 2007 and then reunited with the Portuguese tactician whom he once called his daddy at Real Madrid.

When asked about his best managers, the 37-year-old picked Mourinho, who was appointed Tottenham manager last November as his number one, and he also included Everton's Carlo Ancelotti as another coach he had a great relationship with.

“He [Mourinho] would be the first one for me [in terms of managers I have worked under],” Essien told talkSport.

“He’s a still a great manager. I worked under him and we had a very good relationship, and I had a very good relationship with Ancelotti as well. Those two are very good managers.

“They’ve all played a part in my career and development. It’s great to look back and reflect on what aspects they taught me and I will take that on board [in my coaching career].”

Essien commenced a new path in football in the summer when Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjaelland handed him a player-coach role, which gives him a chance to develop his coaching skills.

The two-time Premier League winner is excited with the new career as he looks forward to being in the dug-out.

“I’ve just started to do my coaching badges and I got a great opportunity to come here. I’m very happy to be here and it’s all about a new transition in my career because I have a lot to give to the young ones,” he continued.

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“I love the game and I’ve always wanted to be in the game so why not [become a manager in the future]? When I was playing if you’d asked me if I was going to be a coach, I would have said no but as time goes on, things start changing.

“I’m enjoying my new role now. It’s very different to be a coach than to be a player. I’ve always been a player, so learning the coaching aspect of the game is very good and it gives me an open mind in terms of the game. I’m learning and enjoying it as well.

“My options are open. The most important thing is to learn the aspects of the game, get the badges and keep my options open and see what happens.”