January 6, 2017 / 2:55 PM / a year ago

Team player Mourinho not keen on individual awards

ZURICH (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho has followed in the footsteps of his great managerial rival Arsene Wenger by criticising the concept of individual awards in football.

Britain Football Soccer - West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League - London Stadium - 2/1/17 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho celebrates as Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (not pictured) scores their second goal Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic/Files

Three days before FIFA was due to announce whether Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Antoine Griezmann would be voted its player of the year, the Manchester United manager said it was contradictory to have such awards in a team sport

“Honestly, I’m not too big a fan of individual awards. Football is a team sport,” Mourinho told FIFA.com.

“Teams win matches, and players are not as important as teams. Media and fans love it, managers not so much because there is some contradiction between what we work for and the individual award.”

Arsenal manager Wenger has been a leading critic of individual awards, saying they encourage selfishness in players.

There are now a plethora of individual awards at national, continental and global level.

FIFA used to organise the Ballon d‘Or jointly with France Football magazine but the two have now split and each run their own awards, both filling many media column inches on speculation about the winners.

Mourinho, however, said he was pleased to have won the first FIFA coach of the year award in 2010 after his Inter Milan side won a league, cup and Champions League treble.

“It was such an honour, especially because it will stay in history as the first FIFA award for a coach,” said the Portuguese.

”However, again I must repeat that I’m a team man and 2010 wasn’t, for me, the year of my FIFA award.

“It was the year of my treble with Internazionale. It wasn’t Mourinho’s season, it was Inter’s season. That’s the way I feel about my job.”

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Ed Osmond

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