BULAWAYO – Jose Mourinho five years ago described the new coach of Zimbabwean top-flight football club Highlanders as “fantastic” in a short video that has circulated following his fellow Portuguese’s appointment in the African nation.

Baltemar Jose De Oliveira Brito, who has taken over as Highlanders coach on a short six-month contract, worked under Mourinho at Porto and Chelsea as well as consultative roles with Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

And then in 2017, world famous coach Mourinho, a serial winner of league titles in Europe’s top leagues in addition to two European Champions Leagues with Porto and Inter Milan, endorsed Brito and tipped him for success.

“I’m speaking from my heart to say Brito was a fantastic assistant that I had for many years both in Porto and Chelsea and was my direct collaborator at Inter and also Madrid,” said Mourinho in the video.

“His desire now is to be a head coach which I accept. Very honest guy, very good organisation with the players. So I’m saying he is ready to take any job. I will put my reputation on the line for him. For sure, the quality of his job will be not a surprise, it will be very good for the team that chooses him.”

Although the clip was recorded in 2017 when he was still coaching Manchester United, it has become relevant in Zimbabwe following Brazilian-born Brito’s appointment by Highlanders.

Since leaving Chelsea in 2007, Brito has held head coach jobs in Brazil, Portugal, Luxemburg and Libya.


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