Former Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor has recalled the moment Jose Mourinho “killed” Cristiano Ronaldo after the superstar scored a hat-trick.
Adebayor, 35, spent the second half of the 2010/11 season on loan in the Spanish capital from Manchester City, linking up with then-manager Mourinho.
How did Mourinho fare in Madrid? Five key things to know…
- Mourinho replaced Manuel Pellegrini at Real in 2010 after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan.
- During his maiden campaign, Los Blancos clinched the Copa del Rey at the expense of Barcelona, ending the club’s 18-year drought for the cup.
- The following season Mourinho guided Real to a La Liga title but fell short in the Champions League for back-to-back seasons.
- His final year was largely marred by controversy as he fell out with key players, including Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos.
- Adebayor has now claimed Mourinho used to ‘kill everyone’ in the Real dressing room during his tenure.
The Togo international netted eight goals in 22 matches during his time at the Bernabeu, with his exploits in the final third helping Real clinch a first Copa del Rey title for 18 years – and Mourinho’s first piece of Real silverware.
Despite his early success, the 56-year-old’s final season at the helm was often marred by controversial incidents, including a breakdown in relations with some of the club’s key players.
He ultimately left Real by “mutual agreement” in May 2013, and Adebayor has now opened up on his experience with the enigmatic tactician, recalling one extraordinary incident involving Ronaldo.
“At Real, we were winning 3-0 at half-time. [Mourinho] came into the dressing room and went mental,” he recalled to the Daily Mail.
“He kicked the fridge, kicked the television, threw water. He killed everyone. I remember he once killed Ronaldo after he scored a hat-trick.
“He said, ‘Everyone says you are the best in the world and you are playing badly. Show me you are the best’.
“Cristiano took it. Ronaldo could score a hat-trick but talk about the one he missed.”
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Adebayor recollects Ronaldo’s incredible work ethic
Adebayor was only a Los Blancos player for half a season, but the former Spurs marksman saw enough of Ronaldo to know he was witnessing something truly remarkable.
Describing the insatiable work rate of the Portugal star, Adebayor was quick to heap enormous praise on his former teammate for his dedication and unremitting commitment to training.
He added: “He trained with us at Real Madrid as though he was training with his kids.
“Passes with his back, control with his neck. He once kept the ball for five seconds with one touch! How is that even possible?
“In the gym, wow. Sergio Ramos and I were the strongest. But then came Ronaldo. ‘You think that’s hard?’ he’d say. We’d do five reps and he’d do 30.”