Mourinho and Essien have a great relationship having worked together at Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stated that he is a ‘white daddy’ to his former player Michael Essien.
Mourinho and Essien have a great relationship having worked together at Chelsea for two seasons before reuniting at Real Madrid in 2012.
In an interview with Malaysian television station Astro Arena, Mourinho stated that he does not see Essien as his former player but like a 'white daddy'.
“'He was not my player, he is my son – I am his white daddy,” Mourinho said.
Now manager of Manchester United, Mourinho still has affection for Essien as he stated that he was one of the players that took him to his real home in Accra, Ghana and made him fall in love with the country.
“He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid," Mourinho added.
“He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality."
Mourinho also hailed Essien’s loyal character pointing out that the midfielder was ready to play for him even when injured.
"I understand why as a player he was ready for everything, he was ready to die for the fellow players, for the club, for the manager, why he was ready to play like he did for me at Real Madrid with a knee that was not a knee anymore," Mourinho also said.
“It was a destroyed knee but with that personality, that desire and that mentality he suffered, always he suffered, but always with a smile. Michael smiles a lot.”
Mourinho was paying tribute to Essien who was shown the clip during an interview with Astro Arena.
“For him to say that about me is very special,” Essien said.
“That's kind of emotional,' Essien said after watching the footage. It is very nice, we have a very good relationship.”
Essien won a one Premier League title, one FA Cup, and a Football League Cup during his time under Mourinho at Chelsea.