Footage of Jose Mourinho talking about Xabi Alonso has resurfaced after the Spaniard’s impressive start as Bayer Leverkusen manager.
Now, five months later, Alonso’s men are in sixth place and fighting to finish in the top four.
On Thursday night, Leverkusen also sealed their place in the semi-final of the Europa League after beating Belgian side Union St.Gilloise 4-1.
On the back of his remarkable start to life as a manager, a video of Mourinho predicting Alonso to become a manager has reemerged.
Speaking at a Top Eleven conference back in 2019, Mourinho said: “His father was a manager, so he grew up similar to me. Then he became a player – of course much better than I was.
“He became a player, a top player. His position on the pitch and his knowledge of the game – very high.
“He played in Spain, in England and in Germany. And he was coached by Guardiola with Bayern, by myself in Real Madrid, by Ancelotti in Real Madrid, by Benitez in Liverpool.”
Mourinho continued: “So, I think if you put all this together, Xabi has the conditions to be a very good coach.”
Jose never misses, now we’re gonna see Xabi Alonso vs Jose Mourinho in the semis.pic.twitter.com/glO3czZLOA— Dr Yash (@YashRMFC) April 20, 2023
His work at Leverkusen has even attracted the attention of the Liverpool fanbase, with many fans calling for the club to hire Alonso when Jurgen Klopp decides the time is right to step aside.
Alonso will now be up against Mourinho as Leverkusen take on Roma in the last four of the Europa League.
Roma overturned a 1-0 deficit against Feyenoord with a 4-1 extra-time win at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night.
Speaking after the match, Mourinho said: “Now you see why my hair is this white! With 150 European games, I've seen everything.
“I’m in a phase of my career where the players are more important than myself.”
Who will come out on top between Alonso and Mourinho? Only time will tell.