News24

Shevchenko 'spoilt' at Milan

2008-09-05 05:38

London - Jose Mourinho insists Andriy Shevchenko was destined to fail at Chelsea because the Ukraine striker was treated with kid gloves at AC Milan.

Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge when Shevchenko joined for a club record 30 million pounds in 2006.

Shevchenko arrived with a reputation as the best finisher in Europe but he endured a dismal two-year spell in the Premier League, scoring just nine goals, and rejoined AC Milan earlier this week.

Mourinho, now in charge at Milan great rivals Inter Milan, believes Shevchenko's hero status at the San Siro caused him to struggle to adapt to the team-first ethic he demands from all his players.

"He was like a prince in Milan and at Chelsea our philosophy was different, we had no princes," Mourinho told feelfootball.com

"Everybody needs to work like everybody else and prove he deserves to play.

"I think maybe he lost some self-confidence. Step by step a player goes in the wrong direction."

Mourinho revealed Shevchenko was given to him as a second option by the club after Chelsea's powerbrokers failed to land his number one target.

"He was not my first option but the club gave him to me as a second option," Mourinho said.

"I believe in the future he will again be a player of high quality. The truth is I never had a single personal problem with him and I wish him well for the future."

Mourinho was rumoured to be unhappy with Shevchenko during their time together but the Portuguese coach is adamant there was never any bust-up.

"The truth is I never had a single personal problem with him and I wish him well for the future," he repeated. "I believe in the future he will again be a player of high quality."

Shevchenko, 31, will have the chance to emphasise his quality to Mourinho in the two Milan derbies this season but, publicly at least, he has no axe to grind with his old boss.

"I hope he does well at Inter like he has done elsewhere," Shevchenko said. "He's a coach who knows what he wants."

AFP