Andre Schurrle has described his former Chelsea boss Jose Mouroinho as “brutal” during a troubled few years at Stamford Bridge.
The former Germany international recalled how he suffered a crisis of confidence under Mourinho who told
him before one particular match he would be loaned to Southampton if he failed to score twice.
Schurrle retired from football aged just 29 just a handful of years after setting up Mario Gotze’s World Cup winning goal in the 2014 final.
The career highlight came in the middle of his time at Chelsea, having signed in 2013, but his time with the Blues lasted just two years, scoring 14 goals in 65 appearances.
“He’s a brutal guy,” Schurrle said in a YouTube interview with German presenter Joko Winterscheidt.
“I always thought to myself: What does he do anyway? Why does he treat me like this? Why does he do this to people?
“In retrospect, I realise what he wanted and what resources he was working with. At the time, I couldn’t really deal with the things he wanted from me because of all the harshness and the psychological pressure.
“Back then, it was extremely difficult. I would often drive home after conversations with him and just thought I couldn’t do it anymore.
“What could I do? He was building up such extreme pressure.”
Despite this, Schurrle believed the Portuguese manager “liked” him and wanted to develop his career, but struggled to understand the mixed messages.
“He still put a few things into my head that were difficult to process,” he added.
Schurrle had prior experience of Mourinho’s coaching before his move to West London.
The German took part in Michael Ballack’s farewell match in Leipzig in June 2013 where the Portuguese was
“At that point in time I was already in negotiations with Chelsea and Mourinho was my coach for the game,” Schurrle said.
“He said to me, ‘If you don’t score two goals today, I’ll loan you to Southampton’. I didn’t know if he was joking or not.”
The attacker made 30 Premier League appearances in his first season under Mourinho, but found playing time increasingly limited.
“It was often the case that I played from the start and then he’d replace me at half-time,” he said.
“Then, in the next game, I wasn’t in the squad and I was in the stands. I couldn’t understand that at the time and I lost my self-esteem. My ego was hurt.
“Then I started thinking about what might be going through his mind. Sometimes during training I had the feeling that he was only looking at me, even if that probably wasn’t the case.”