Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho stands by Chelsea's Spain duo in fitness dispute

Chelsea 2 West Brom 0

By Miguel Delaney

Jose Mourinho has hit back in the ongoing row with the Spanish national team over the fitness of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, sardonically remarking that Sergio Ramos "is not a doctor".

The two Chelsea players missed Spain's Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus and the subsequent friendly with Germany through injury.

Fabregas's situation prompted a back-and-forth that led the Spain coach, Vicente Del Bosque, to complain about a lack of "trust" and Real Madrid defender Ramos to question the pair's commitment.

Fabregas was initially ruled out of both games, but then travelled to Madrid for a scan. The results showed his hamstring injury was not as serious as feared, but Del Bosque allowed him to return to Chelsea - accompanied by a few barbs.

Mourinho notoriously clashed with Ramos during their time together at Madrid and that was evident in his response.

"Do you know Sergio Ramos personally?" he asked. "Since I know Sergio Ramos (he) is a fantastic football player, but he is not a doctor. He is not a doctor and I am the same. I do my job the best I can but I am not a doctor.

"My doctor and the doctor of the Spanish national team, they had the scans and they decided that the player was not in the condition to play. I am nobody to go against it and I don't think Sergio did a medicine masters in the last couple of years to understand about it.

"I trust my doctor 100 per cent. If Del Bosque doesn't trust his doctor, that is his problem. I speak with my doctor and I believe in what my doctor tells me. Nothing else. No problem.

"(Vincent) Kompany played today for (Manchester) City, but he didn't play for Belgium. He was injured. Okay? Leighton Baines played for Everton? No, he didn't as I saw the team before, but how many players were injured for the international teams and could recover one week later, doing his work at the club? Lots of them.

"Kompany didn't play for Belgium against Wales. Has he a compromise with his national team? I think he has.

"He is the captain of Belgium. Did he 'cheat' by not playing against Wales to play for City? I don't think he did. So we all accept that he was injured."

Both Costa and Fabregas appeared to feel the full benefit from the rest, playing key roles in what was probably Chelsea's best performance of the season so far as they beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on Saturday.

Costa scored the first and Fabregas set up Eden Hazard's second, with the side so rampant that was before the West Bromwich midfielder Claudio Yacob was sent off for a reckless challenge on Costa.

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