By Mark Gleeson
LIBREVILLE (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s coach Paulo Duarte will draw confidence from a call from mentor Jose Mourinho on the eve of Wednesday’s African Nations Cup semi-final against Egypt, he said on Tuesday.
“He is a friend, a father figure and one who over the years has changed the mentality of coaching football not only in Portugal but around the world.
“His method of training, the dynamic he brings to clubs and his analysing of opponents have made him the leader of a generation of new trainers,” the 47-year-old Duarte told a pre-match news conference after being asked a question about his links with the Manchester United coach.
“You are magician to ask me a question like that because he actually called me yesterday. He also called me the last time I was here in Gabon when we played a friendly match against Portugal,” explained Duarte, who was coach of Gabon before returning for a second spell as Burkina Faso coach.
“He’s a friend. A great leader. We might speak only once or twice in a while but he is always willing to give advice.” Duarte’s last seasons as a player overlapped with the start of Mourinho’s coaching career at Uniao Leiria in Portugal.