Jose Mourinho has dismissed criticism that Barcelona striker Luis Suarez should have muted his celebrations after scoring against former club Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.
The distinct lack of restraint in the celebration on Wednesday irked many Liverpool fans, who have accused the striker of disrespecting his former paymasters.
But speaking to RT in his role as a pundit, Mourinho gave short shrift to the notion that Suarez should have reined in his joy at scoring.
“[Suarez] did something which I think it is good, and I love it,” Mourinho said.
“Many of the players today in football, they play and sometimes, even in an emotional moment, which is the moment [scoring] where we are paid for, they still care about their image, about some moments where people can say, ‘oh, nice fair play, he’s playing against the team where he played for a few years, and where he was loved’.
“That has nothing to do with these 90 minutes.And for these 90 minutes, he [Suarez] forgot he had played for Liverpool,” Mourinho said.
“The only thing he was focused on was that match, his job, go to the final, win the Champions League. He scored the goal, he celebrated the goal.
“He was fighting people, probably [Liverpool] players that he loves, and probably players that tonight they are on the phone.
“Incredible, incredible attitude.”
Suarez’s celebrations will lead to a cooler welcome in the return leg at Anfield next week, although he is unlikely to care, especially given Barcelona head there 3-0 up after Lionel Messi added a late double on Wednesday – including a stunning free-kick.