Speaking on SFR Sport, former French international and Chelsea central defender William Gallas discussed his relationship with José Mourinho.
“He was strict. He knew what he wanted. I will never forget the first day that he arrived in the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, we have a meeting, he looks at all of us, and then he said it like this: “I can only see three champions.” We look at each other like what is he trying to say. And then he said: “Yes. Makélélé, a champion with Real Madrid. Ricardo Carvalho, a champion with Porto and Paulo Ferreira, a champion with Porto. And the rest of you, you have won nothing.” He said to us that if we wanted to win something, you must follow me. And if you follow me, you will be champions.”
William Gallas also talked about a noticeable incident that occurred after a disappointing performance:
“The next day, we have a meeting. In the morning I arrived at training, injured, in a good mood. Claude told me stop laughing the boss is not happy. I said don’t worry. We go to the meeting and there he has a go at everybody. He even had a go at the English players who he never usually had a go at. I was at the front, and I can say it now, I am no longer afraid to say it, I had a giggle attack. I had to hold myself together so that the other players did not hear. I had to put my hand in my mouth and bite it to stop myself.”
“And then I hear the coach saying: “William, do you find this funny.” I turned around to him and I said: “No coach, why would you say that.” He said: “It looked like you were laughing. It is like with you I cannot say anything. After 5 minutes you are elsewhere.” I said: “Coach that is not my fault.” He said: “It is not your fault? Let me tell you something. On the pitch, you are the best in the team. But off the pitch, your private life, you need to deal with certain things.” He attacked me. So I said: “Coach why are you saying that. What do you know about my private life.” He said to me: “I would like to see if in 2 weeks you will be ready to face Barca.” Because we were due to play Barcelona in the Champions League in 2 weeks time at home. I said to him: “Coach, if I can play, I will do it.” 3 sessions a day of treatment, everything. On d-day, I come back. I have the test, he asks the medical staff if I can play, they say yes. And then he looks at me, and he says: “You are a strong man, but I will not be playing you.”