Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has praised the influence Jose Mourinho had on him at Stamford Bridge, revealing it was the club’s former boss who taught him to ‘hate defeat’.
The France international was signed by Mourinho from French side Saint-Etienne five years ago, the defender spending 18 months working under the 56-year-old before his departure from the club in December 2015.
Mourinho’s departure would see Zouma become somewhat of a bit-part player, spending loan spells at Stoke and Everton before returning to the first-team fold under Frank Lampard this season.
Zouma has credited Mourinho with his development after making the move to English football as a teenager, praising the former Chelsea boss for helping to instil a winning mentality in him.
”He is the one who opened the door of England to me. I was only 19 when I arrived there. That’s young. It’s also him who gave me belief by playing me in big matches with a lot of intensity,’ Zouma told France Football.
‘It is also he who showed me what football in England was about. The coach is a man who detests losing. He taught me to hate defeat.
‘Thanks to him, I got to enjoy myself at Chelsea. He has given me a lot of things and taught me an enormous amount. I thank him.’