Gallas says Chelsea boss is the best, regrets leaving for Arsenal

Gallas Tottenham V Fabregas

Former Chelsea and Arsenal player William Gallas has lauded Jose Mourinho.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Willian Gallas says that Jose Mourinho is the best coach in the world, and has admitted that he would have liked to remain with the Blues under his guidance.

The retired French international joined the Blues in 2001 and remained with the club for five seasons before opting to join London rivals Arsenal in controversial circumstances.

He first played under Claudio Ranieri at Stamford Bridge but his career really took off the moment Mourinho arrived in 2004, becoming more versatile.

On playing under the Portuguese coach, Gallas said that he was pushed to reach the level he wanted and as a result feels he is currently the best in the business.

"When he was manager I enjoyed every training session. The quality of training was incredible. He is the number one manager in the world. He allowed me to reach the level I wanted," he told BeIN Sport.

His time under Mourinho, however, was cut short as he traded Stamford Bridge for the Gunners as part of the Ashley Cole deal in a move what caused huge controversy.

The 37-year-old’s contract was set to expire in 2007 and he reportedly rejected new terms with a wage increase as he expressed an interest in moving to Serie A.

Instead, he ended up heading to North London and he was immediately tainted with a bad reputation after he was accused of threatening to score deliberate own goals to force through an exit.

Gallas refuted such claims, and today revealed his regret at leaving the Blues and the opportunity to play under Mourinho beyond the two years.

"He's a perfectionist. I would have liked to stay with him for more than 2 years," he said.

The former Marseille defender played 159 league matches for the Blues, winning the Premier League twice and the League Cup in 2005.

For the Gunners and later Tottenham Hotspur, Gallas never quite reached such heights again.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch