Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has backed his Premier League rival Arsene Wenger for opposing the Ballon d’Or competition that celebrates the best player in world football.
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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, unsurprisingly, have dominated the award since 2008 – with the Argentine having won the award a record-breaking four times, while Ronaldo is closing in on the record with three titles.
Both Mourinho and Wenger, however, argue that the title is taking away from the team ethic of football, and instead promotes the individual too much.
In January, Wenger exclaimed how “totally against” the Ballon d’Or he is saying, “I would not vote for any Ballon d’Or,” the Frenchman was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“I’m totally against it. I’m a team lover and a specialist of somebody who loves team work. I’m completely against it. I would not vote for anybody.”
And the Arsenal boss has received surprise backing from his Premier League rival Jose Mourinho.
In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, the Portuguese admitted that the award has created an intense focus on individual stats and performances.
“I think Wenger said something that is interesting; he is against the Ballon d’Or, and I think he’s right, because in this moment football is losing a little bit the concept of the team to focus more on the individual.
“We are always looking at the individual performance, the individual stat, the player that runs more,” the 52-year-old continued.
He added, “For me, football is collective. The individual is welcome if you want to make our group better. But you have to work for us, not we have to work for you.”