Jose Mourinho usually falls out with his attacking players, most notable in recent times was his feud with Eden Hazard that partly precipitated his second sacking from Chelsea.
Damien Duff - who retired from football today - bucked this trend, however, and was only showered in praise by the Portuguese.
Mourinho remembered Duff's 2006 departure from Chelsea fondly.
I remember that he was one of the guys that left Cobham crying and left the people here crying.
He didn’t want to go but he wants to play every game and he wants to enjoy his football and Chelsea at that time was Duff, Robben, Joe Cole. We had so much.
The offer from Newcastle came. He wanted to accept but he didn’t want to.
It was one of the guys that left Cobham crying and left people crying here. He had a big influence in our style of play. I don’t remember more times for that to play with two left footed players, both together on the wings, changing a lot during the game, creating different kind of problems. They were similar but different. They were fantastic players and he’s a player that we have good memories of.
Mourinho also compared Duff favourably with his most recent batch of Chelsea players in an interview earlier this year with Gary Neville, saying he had a killer instinct that was not as prevalent in last season's champions:
This team has more to be admired by good results but also for a certain style of play. In that team [2004-06] I had guys like Makelele.
He knew everything about that [toughness]. These guys are still in that learning process. I think we are going in a very good direction.
People like Robben, Duff, even Joe [Cole] in his two great seasons with me were people with appetite to kill matches, to finish. You don’t see Duff dribbling without a shot.
Duff scored 13 goals under Mourinho, including strikes in the 2005 League Cup semi-final against Manchester United and the 2005 Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.
It appears Mourinho would have greatly benefited from having Damien Duff at his peak this season.