Jose Mourinho faces awkward Fenerbahce start after Galatasaray comment | Football | Sport

Jose Mourinho will have work to do to win over the Fenerbahce fans given his previous comments about arch-rivals Galatasaray. The Special One is set for a return to management. He’s reportedly agreed a two-year deal to take over from Ismail Kartal as boss of the Turkish giants in a surprise switch. Mourinho was keen to get back in the saddle this summer, having parted ways with Roma back in January.

His only previous experience of Turkey has come in Champions League encounters. And trips to Galatasaray left him dumbstruck, praising their fans for the support they show the team on multiple occasions.

His Real Madrid side travelled there for the second leg of their European quarter-final back in April 2013. They survived a scare, with the hosts winning 3-2 on the night but ultimately losing 5-3 on aggregate.

Speaking post-match, Mourinho hailed: “I know Galatasaray are strong. They did not play with 11 men today, they played with 50,000 incredible supporters. It was hard for us and they deserved to win tonight.”

He’s close friends with legendary Gala boss Fatih Terim, who has had four separate spells in their dugout. Touching on their relationship, Mourinho recalled that match in a 2019 interview.

“One of the most memorable moments I have in football was in Istanbul,” he said. “The world thought the game was over. But Fatih, the players, of course [Didier] Drogba and [Wesley] Sneijder in that team, his connection with the incredible fans, they almost turned it around.

“I felt I had to go to the centre of the pitch with Fatih to show an appreciation to that team and to that club, because it’s only possible with a manager like Fatih that a team which is losing 4-0 on aggregate, I think it was 4-3 with 15 minutes to go, and we were in trouble.”

Mourinho was back at Galatasaray just the following season too in his second stint at Chelsea. He again waxed lyrical about their fans after a 1-1, calling on the Chelsea faithful to take inspiration from them.

“The performance of the players in a difficult place to play was amazing. I just ask for 10 per cent of what this stadium gave Galatasaray when we play in three weeks,” he urged.

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