Jose Mourinho taught John Terry one of football’s relatively unknown rules, showing how he paid attention to the smallest details.
The legendary former Chelsea captain had two spells playing under Mourinho, winning three Premier League titles.
He won two back-to-back between 2004 and 2006 before another in 2014/15 after Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge.
And it was in this second stint that Mourinho informed Terry of a little-known rule that his team could exploit.
If his side won 1-0 in a close game, Mourinho would instruct Terry and center-back partner Gary Cahill to bang into one another and go down.
Terry claimed that one referee was unaware that the rule states that both players could not go off the pitch in the event of a collision.
“Just to win. Didn’t care about anything else, he did anything to get an edge,” Terry said onbeIN Sports.
“I remember, the rule was, if we were 1-0 up and the ball got delivered into the box…if two defenders went up together and both went down on the floor after, you didn’t have to go off the field of play.
“So last 10 or 15 minutes, he would sit me and Gary Cahill down and go: ‘when the ball comes in the box, make sure you both go down – bump into each other and both go down because you can’t both go off.
“We’d never heard of that rule ever. So ball comes over in the last 10 minutes, head it away, Gaz goes down and I think ‘I better go down’. So I dropped to the floor and the ref said ‘you two off the pitch’. I said ‘no that’s not the rule, ask the linesman’.
“Mourinho was so far ahead with those little bits and you’re talking small margins and the best managers find those little margins. Incredible.”
Mourinho’s way of doing things has been much-maligned and he has frequently been accused of negative tactics and “parking the bus” during his coaching career.
However, Terry disputes that claim and and says he liked his team to be free-scoring on occasion.
He added: “If we were two or three goals up at half time against certain teams – Spurs being one of them – he’d say ‘go and kill them, go and make them suffer today.”