Wesley Sneijder lifts lid on Jose Mourinho’s management style at treble-winning Inter Milan

‘He made his own laws… and the players loved it’: Wesley Sneijder lifts lid on Jose Mourinho’s management style at treble-winning Inter Milan… and recalls how the Portuguese manager forced Mario Balotelli to apologise to entire squad

  • Wesley Sneijder enjoyed the best year of his career in 2010 under Jose Mourinho
  • The pair won a historic treble together in an all-conquering Inter Milan side
  • The Dutchman has now divulged how Mourinho trusted his players a decade ago
  • He also tells a story of how Mourinho dealt with a Mario Balotelli misdemeanour

Wesley Sneijder has revealed how manager Jose Mourinho galvanised an Inter Milan side which won a historic treble ten years ago, using his ‘own laws which the players loved.’

The Dutch playmaker, who retired in 2019, enjoyed the best spell of his career under Mourinho, in a side which won the Champions League, Serie A and the Coppa Italia in 2010. 

Mourinho then left for Real Madrid, while Sneijder – who also reached the World Cup final with his country a decade ago – never reached those heights again, but in his new autobiography the 36-year-old has divulged how Mourinho guided Inter to three trophies in one stunning season. 

Wesley Sneijder has divulged how Jose Mourinho guided Inter Milan to a stunning season

Inter's historic treble in 2010 was largely down to Mourinho's supreme man-management

Inter’s historic treble in 2010 was largely down to Mourinho’s supreme man-management

‘He knew how to handle us so well. He said, “I give you guys more freedom than you are used to and, in ­return, I get a better team,”‘ Sneijder said, as reported by The Mirror.  

‘During games he ­demanded everything from us. But away from the pitch he gave us a lot of space. Drinking wine, fags… I am sure he knew that we were doing this stuff.’ 

Sneijder also revealed how Mourinho dealt with a teenage and rebellious Mario Balotelli within his squad of pure professionals. 

The Portuguese manager guided his side to a feat never before achieved in Italian football

The Portuguese manager guided his side to a feat never before achieved in Italian football 

The Dutch playmaker, now retired, spoke with high praise for former manager Mourinho

The Dutch playmaker, now retired, spoke with high praise for former manager Mourinho

‘Mourinho ­protected us always – but you don’t mess him about,’ added Sneijder.

‘Mario Balotelli tried it. He was young and thought he knew it all. And when ­Mourinho was not using him a lot, Mario walked in my hotel room one night when I was with a few other players. 

It was 10.30pm and he said, “I am leaving the camp, the ­manager is not taking me seriously. I want more ­playing time”. 

Sneijder also revealed how Mourinho dealt with Mario Balotelli's misdemeanours a decade ago

Sneijder also revealed how Mourinho dealt with Mario Balotelli’s misdemeanours a decade ago

‘Mourinho later told us Mario was only ­welcome back again if he apologised to the entire squad and to him, the manager. 

‘Mario did exactly that and they came back with their arms around each ­other’s shoulders. It was all good again – at least that’s what Balotelli thought.

‘During the Champions League final, Mourinho told Balotelli to do a warm-up for 45 minutes, then let Marco Materazzi warm up for five minutes. Materazzi came on, Balotelli didn’t. ­Mourinho has his own laws.’