Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed the French reporter who published his off-the-record comments about Blues striker Samuel Eto’o is a disgrace and should be embarrassed by his actions.
Mourinho was quoted by French television station Canal Plus commenting about Cameroon striker Eto'o's age, while he also appeared to question the qualities of his other strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. Canal Plus did not broadcast the footage along with their main interview with the Portuguese coach but later published it online, before removing it later on Monday.
While Canal Plus was waiting for an interview with Mourinho last week in Nyon, Switzerland, it filmed him talking with a Swiss businessman at a sponsor event. Broadcast on Monday, when Chelsea were heading to Istanbul to play Galatasaray in the Champions League last 16, the clip shows Mourinho saying: "The problem with Chelsea is we lack a scorer. I have one (Samuel Eto'o) but he's 32. Maybe 35, who knows?"
Later, a clearly angered Mourinho was questioned about the comments by reporters at his news conference ahead of Wednesday's first leg at the Turk Telekom Arena, with his response leaving little to the imagination.
"I think you should be embarrassed as media professionals because by the ethical point of view, I don’t think you are happy your colleague is happy to be able to record a private conversation and to make it public," Mourinho said. "Is it a not happy comment? Absolutely, absolutely.
"I am not defending what I am saying, I am attacking something that is fundamental in your professional area. That person showed what he is or what he doesn’t know about the job. It was a funny conversation with someone who does not belong to the football world. It’s a disgrace.
"From my perspective, the comment is not a good one and not one I would do in a serious way, not something I would do in an official way. First of all because I don’t make fun, second if there are managers in the world that defend their players I am obviously one of them.
"I think you should all be embarrassed because it is against the ethic in your work. It is a real disgrace."
Mourinho went on to praise Eto’o and insisted the veteran marksman has no reason to feel any animosity towards his manager as the pair look to continue their successful working relationship.
"Samuel Eto’o is Samuel Eto’o," he added. "He is four times a Champions League winner. People think three times, but it is four times. One with Real Madrid, two with Barcelona, one with Inter [Milan].
"It was with him I had the best ever season of my career. He is one of the few players who is working with me at a second different club and a manager never does that when he doesn’t like the player, doesn’t like the person.
"He has no reason to be upset. A few years ago, he said he would not play with me, but a few years later he plays with me at Inter and now he plays with me here. There is no story."