Ex-Chelsea midfielder Andre Schurrle has lifted the lid on his difficult personal spell while playing under Jose Mourinho at the club.
The former Germany international joined the Blues from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 and was an important member of the team in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
But he was not so involved in his second campaign and made a move to Wolfsburg in 2015.
Speaking in an interview with German presenter Joko Winterscheidt, Schurrle admitted he often felt badly treated by the now-Tottenham boss Mourinho during his time at Chelsea.
“He’s a brutal guy,” Schurrle said. “I always thought to myself: What does he do anyway? Why does he treat me like this? Why does he do this to people?
“In retrospect, I realise what he wanted and what resources he was working with. At the time, I couldn’t really deal with the things he wanted from me because of all the harshness and the psychological pressure.
“Back then, it was extremely difficult. I would often drive home after conversations with him and just thought I couldn’t do it anymore. What could I do? He was building up such extreme pressure.”
Schurrle added that the fact he was often substituted left his self-esteem in tatters, and had the feeling that Mourinho was purposefully victimising him.
“It was often the case that I played from the start and then he’d replace me at half time,” he added.
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“Then, in the next game, I wasn’t in the squad and I was in the stands. I couldn’t understand that at the time and I lost my self-esteem. My ego was hurt.
“Then I started thinking about what mind be going through his mind. Sometimes during training I had the feeling that he was only looking at me, even if that probably wasn’t the case.”
Schurrle somewhat surprisingly retired from football earlier this year at the age of just 29, stating that he no longer wanted to face the loneliness and endless competition of the elite level.
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