Santo looking forward to ‘big challenge’ of facing Liverpool, who he describes as ‘one of the best teams in Europe’, live on Sky Sports
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 20/12/18 2:54pm
Nuno Espirito Santo says Jose Mourinho taught him “how to win” when he played under his compatriot at Porto.
The Wolves manager was a goalkeeper under Mourinho at Porto and the pair won the UEFA Cup together in 2002/03 before winning the Champions League the following season.
Santo, who retired in 2010 after his second spell with Porto before moving into management, took charge of the Portuguese club for one season in 2016 – and since his appointment as Wolves boss in 2017 – he has led them back to the Premier League.
Asked of his reaction to Mourinho’s dismissal as Manchester United manager, Santo said: “When you speak about Jose Mourinho, personally he has an impact on me. Because I was a member of the [Porto] squad in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 at Porto. That will stay forever.
“When you have someone that manages, coaches you and you follow, and you believe and you do everything that you can because you believe in that idea in your leader – that stays forever.
“That is the impact Jose Mourinho had on me. I think with every member of that squad he taught us how to win so that will stay forever.
As a former player and a friend I wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart.
Nuno Espirito Santo on Jose Mourinho
Santo added that he had not spoken to his compatriot since Mourinho’s departure but gave a clear indication of how highly he regards his former boss.
He said: “As a former player and a friend I wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart.”
Wolves vs Liverpool
December 21, 2018, 7:00pm
Wolves host unbeaten Liverpool on Friday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, on a run of three league wins in a row and Santo expects a great occasion in front of a “noisy Molineux”.
He added: “Big challenge for us. We require a lot. [Liverpool] are a fantastic team, with fantastic players, a fantastic manager. What a game.”
Wolves hold the best record of picking up points against the top-six from clubs outside that group but Santo was in pragmatic mood when asked how Liverpool’s challenge would compare.
“They are top of the league so that says a lot,” Santo, who led Wolves to a win against Chelsea earlier this month, said.
“We are going to face one of the best teams in Europe. We look forward to it. We look to compete to the maximum of our efforts, beliefs and trying everything we can.”