‘It’s great that he attended the game’: Ice hockey stars praise Mourinho for KHL visit
Ice hockey stars have expressed praise and admiration towards Portuguese football manager Jose Mourinho, thanking the coach for visiting a KHL game between Avangard and SKA in Balashikha on Monday.
The legendary football coach was invited by Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to attend the game and make a ceremonial faceoff at the Balashikha arena, where he also held an autograph session on Monday.
Stanley Cup winner and SKA’s captain Pavel Datsyuk, who also took part in the ceremony, said that it was a great honor to have such a guest at the game, but added that he was upset to lose the faceoff performed by the Portuguese.
“First of all I was very upset to lose the faceoff made by Mourinho,” Datsyuk said. “He is a world renowned coach, it’s great that he attended the game and made the ceremonial puck drop.”
“I can’t say that I’m a fan, but I follow several football teams, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona. And the Catalan club is probably my favorite among other teams,” he added.
Avangard’s head coach Bob Hartley also paid tribute to the Portuguese specialist saying that the players “had much fun with coach” before the game.
“Whenever you have a chance to meet coaches from other sports, especially at the international level, the way that he coaches the team to championships, it’s always fun," said Hartley during post-game press-conference.
"The players had fun with coach on the ice this morning, we took some pictures, we did some videos, so it’s always nice to exchange,” he added.Also on rt.com Swapping football for hockey? Jose Mourinho makes unexpected KHL visit in Russia