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Jose Mourinho Recalling The Time He Hid From UEFA In A Laundry Basket Is Still Iconic

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Jose Mourinho Recalling The Time He Hid From UEFA In A Laundry Basket Is Still Iconic

Jose Mourinho was once smuggled into the Chelsea dressing room to deliver a team talk and he loves retelling the story.

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Back in 2005, Mourinho was handed a two-match ban by UEFA after wrongfully claiming Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard visited the referee at halftime during their Champions League last 16 tie.

It meant he wasn't allowed to be involved in either leg of their quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich, the biggest match of his Blues career at that point. Naturally, the self-proclaimed 'Special One' hatched a genius plan.

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"I go to the dressing room during the day so I was there from midday and the game is seven o’clock. I just want to be in the dressing room when the players arrive,” he told beIN SPORT with glee back in 2019.

"I went there and nobody saw me. The problem was to leave after. And Stewart Bannister the kit man put me in the basket. It was a little bit open so I could breathe.

"But when he is taking it outside the dressing room, the UEFA guys were following and desperate to find me so he closed the box and I couldn’t breathe! When he opened the box I was dying! I am serious! I was claustrophobic, I promise! It’s true!"

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Fellow pundits Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Andy Gray listened with bated breath and hung on to every word.

Both men then broke down in a fit of laughter when Mourinho finished his story.

Whatever Mourinho said clearly worked as Chelsea went on to win the tie 6-5 and set up a huge semi-final with Liverpool.

They'd bow out of the competition thanks to Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal' but it was still a solid debut campaign for Mourinho, who won Chelsea's first Premier League title.

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Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

John Terry confirmed the story years later and added the extra tidbit of Mourinho still looking 'a million dollars' after popping his head out of the basket.

The former Chelsea captain told Sky One's Redknapp's Home Fixture: "The kit man had to bring him through all the security... and about halfway to the dressing room, he's banging on the top going: 'I can't breathe! Get me out! Get me out!'

"So the kit man had to speed up and get him in. We're all thinking that the assistants, Mick McGiven or Andre Villas-Boas, are going to give a speech at half-time.

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"All of a sudden, he just gets wheeled in in a skip - and out he pops.

"Still looking a million dollars! He still looks unbelievable - his hair has not moved or anything."

Featured Image Credit: beIN SPORTS/Twitter

Topics: Jose Mourinho, Chelsea

Daniel Marland
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