Tottenham tormentor has Chelsea player as biggest fan

Nemanja Matic

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood might not be his biggest fan, but Chelsea's Nemanja Matic says he owes a lot to Benfica boss Jorge Jesus.

The Chelsea midfielder, who returned to Stamford Bridge for his second spell at the club after leaving to join Jesus at Benfica, says the Portuguese coach transformed his career.

Tottenham boss Sherwood, of course, had a different impression of the 59-year-old when his side lost 3-1 to Benfica at White Hart Lane on Thursday, with the two managers repeatedly in conflict on the touchline.

Matic, however, says Jesus' advice and belief made him the player he is today. All the better for Chelsea fans.

The 25-year-old is quoted by the Daily Telegraph: 'When I went to Benfica, I played like a No 10 in the team.

'Jorge Jesus told me: ‘You’re going to play like a defensive midfielder.’ And I said ‘me ?’ He said: ‘Yeah, I think you can play better in that position.’

'It wasn’t easy because I had never played that position before. In the start I didn’t play so well, but Jorge Jesus believed in me, he believed in my quality, and kept saying: ‘Just do what I ask and slowly you will play better and better’. I did'.

It seems Jesus treats his friends a lot better than he treats his enemies, with the 59-year-old antagonising Tottenham boss Sherwood on numerous occasions on Thursday night - notably sticking three fingers in his face after Benfica scored their third goal. Sherwood was understandably displeased:

'I thought his team were very good and showed a lot of class. It’s just a shame their manager didn’t', Sherwood said after the Europa League clash.

'He doesn’t mind himself, does he, to be fair', the Tottenham manager continued, 'Waving goodbye like that ? It lacks class. Why would anyone do that ? He’s got a good side. Of course he has, but not for me thank you. I have no intention of speaking to him'.

This surely is a case of Tottenham's pain helping Chelsea to gain.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch