‘A big gentleman’ – Royal Antwerp boss reveals what Jose Mourinho told him

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Royal Antwerp boss, Ivan Leko has admitted that Jose Mourinho was complimentary of his side after Tottenham emerged 2-0 winners in the final Europa League group stage match on Thursday.

Spurs and Antwerp had already sealed their routes to the knockout stages of the competition ahead of the game but were vying for the top spot in the group.

The Belgian side got the better of Tottenham in the reverse fixture back in October, with Mourinho being extremely critical of his players’ attitude at the time.

However, the Tottenham stars did not underestimate Antwerp on Thursday as they matched the away side’s work rate, with their quality eventually telling.

While the first half did not see too many clear cut chances for either side, Spurs stepped it up a notch after the interval, with Carlos Vinicius and Giovani Lo Celso getting on the score sheet.

Leko revealed his admiration for Mourinho and admitted that he dreams of reaching the Portuguese coach’s level one day.

The Antwerp boss told Nieuwsblad: “Mourinho is a big gentleman. He complimented my team and I complimented his team too – they are well ahead of the Premier League.

“It was an honour to play against a coach of that calibre. I hope that one day I can approach his level.”

Spurs Web Opinion

For all the bad press Mourinho gets for his perceived arrogance, the Spurs boss has shown that he can also be quite charming with his colleagues and players. One only has to look at the way some of his former players speak about him to realise the kind of bonds that he often creates with those he works with.

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