Mourinho reveals how Liverpool's Steven Gerrard improved him as a coach

Steven Gerrard

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has praised Steven Gerrard ahead of his side’s clash with Liverpool.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has credited Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard with helping him to become a better coach by proving to be one of his toughest rivals in the Premier League, Sky Sports report.

The Reds head into Sunday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge with their top-four hopes all-but over following a disappointing run of form over the past month.

Nevertheless, Brendan Rodgers’ side will want victory and to end the season on a high for long-standing captain Gerrard, who is set to end his affiliation with the club in the summer.

The former England international is to move to MLS side LA Galaxy, but his stamp on Merseyside and the Premier League will be everlasting following such a successful career.

Against the odds he has helped the Reds to a number of honours, prompting Mourinho to label him as one of his best opponents and a player who has helped the Blues’ boss to develop as a coach.

“It is with opponents like him that I am the manager that I am, because I learn with my players and I learn with my best opponents,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite enemies - an enemy with all the good feeling I can express with that word in football. For sure, in England he is my dear enemy.

“For sure, he is the one that made me a better manager. To stop him or try and stop him has been very, very difficult."

Gerrard’s influence has waned somewhat this season, making only 22 Premier League starts and being unable to help the Reds navigate their way past Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final.

Nevertheless, the 34-year-old will always be recognised as one of England’s greatest midfielders and his role in the 2005 Champions League success - at the expense of Mourinho in the last four - will live long in the memory.

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