Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte says he is inspired by Manchester United coach, Jose Mourinho, whom he sees as a father figure.
The BBC website reports that Duarte has revealed the Portuguese manager has phoned him ahead of Wednesday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Egypt.
Duarte played under Mourinho when he began his career with Uniao Leiria in 2001 and has been strongly influenced by his fellow Portuguese.
« He congratulated me and said he is not surprised (that we reached the semis), » Duarte told BBC Sport.
« He is like a father for me, and for the young Portuguese coaches.
« For me, for us, Mourinho is a good reference so when he called me I was very happy. »
Although Duarte is still searching for his maiden trophy, the former Chelsea and FC Porto boss Mourinho boasts 23 titles, but beating the Pharaohs could take him closer to his first major silverware.
Duarte spent a decade at Leiria between 1995 and 2004 where he was Mourinho’s centre-back, he adds that the ‘Special One’ is important in his career.
« Mourinho is very important in my career because 15 years ago, he changed the mentality of Portuguese football. The training and the mentality of the players changed, » Duarte said.
The highly anticipated encounter will be staged at 21:00 and the venue is Stade d’Angondjé in Libreville.