Jose Mourinho jokes Nuno Espirto Santo is a ‘much better manager than he was a player’ after having Wolves boss as reserve keeper in legendary Porto squad
- Jose Mourinho managed Nuno Espirito Santo as a player whilst at Porto
- Nuno was a backup goalkeeper during their 2004 Champions League campaign
- The two face each other on Sunday as Tottenham face Wolves at Molineux
- Nuno’s work is impressing onlookers, and he has been linked with Arsenal
Jose Mourinho rates Nuno Espirito Santo as a far better manager than he was a goalkeeper.
Wolves boss Nuno was a reserve ‘keeper when Porto reached their pinnacle under Mourinho, winning the Champions League in 2004.
They will meet again when Tottenham travel to Molineux on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo greet each other last season at Old Trafford
Mourinho after winning the 2004 Champions League with Nuno (blue shirt) in the background
NUNO ESPIRITO SANTO’S PLAYING CAREER
Vitoria Guimaraes (1992-96)
- Vila Real (1993-94, LOAN)
Deportivo La Coruna (1997-2002)
- Merida (1998-2000, LOAN)
- Osasuna (2000-01, LOAN)
Dynamo Moscow (2005-06)
‘A much better manager than a player,’ smiled Mourinho ‘I’m not saying he was a bad player, I’m saying he is a much better coach than a player.
‘I think he’ll be happy because he sees what he is now. And that’s the career he has now, he is not a player anymore. He is doing really, really amazing work.
‘For me has one of the best teams from a tactical point of view. And when I say that, I’m not referring to the system they play, or it’s the best to play, or not the best to play.
‘I’m saying that’s the way he wants to play and his team plays exactly the way he wants to play. His players are perfect for the puzzle.
‘So the characteristics and qualities are perfectly adapted to the ideas he has for his team. So I think really, really fantastic work he is doing.’
Nuno led Wolves to the Championship title in his first season in charge, then qualified for the Europa League and reached the FA Cup semi-finals in his second.
Nuno Espirito Santo has led Wolves to the knockout stages of the Europa League this season
This season he has led them into the knock-out stages of the Europa League and recovered from a slow start in the Premier League to have them well-placed again, in sixth.
His work has drawn admiring glances from Arsenal as they search for a new manager.
‘He’s getting some praise for the work he’s doing,’ said Mourinho. ‘In my opinion, not enough. In my opinion he deserves more than what he’s getting. Fantastic work, fantastic work.
Mourinho was full of praise for Nuno’s ability as a coach and the work he has done at Wolves
‘He is a top coach. You cannot be in the Premier League in a stable way without being a top coach. You can come in and after two or three months people realise that’s not your level.
‘You were a Premier League coach for a period but you are not a Premier League coach.
‘When you come and you are stable two or three years in the same club, getting the results he’s doing, I think he is Premier League level. And when you’re Premier League level, you’re top level.’