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By ESPN Staff

Mourinho labels Chelsea striker Drogba 'a diver'

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has branded Blues striker Didier Drogba ''a diver''.

Drogba has often been criticised for going to ground too easily but was vigorously defended by Mourinho during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Now, just over a year after leaving Chelsea, Mourinho has turned on the 30-year-old while also hitting out at Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Torres and Robin van Persie for the same thing.

Mourinho told feelfootball.com: ''I am no longer Chelsea coach, and I do not have to defend them any more, but I think it is correct if I say Drogba is a diver.

''Drogba, Ronaldo, Torres and Van Persie are the divers. Who dives more? Who has won more penalties in recent years? But English football is the one that criticises the divers the most.''

Mourinho claims he is against diving but encourages his players to go to ground if they are fouled.

He added: ''I hate diving, but I'm not happy if a player is kicked by somebody in the box and he tries to remain standing.

''It's very, very rare a referee gives a decision if the player doesn't go down so I tell players not to be naive, but to be fair.''

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