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Abramovich never interfered - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho said he was in complete control of all playing matters between 2004 and 2007.

Chelsea's new manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference after signing four-year deal 10 June 2013. Picture : AFP

LONDON - Jose Mourinho has rejected the notion Roman Abramovich interfered in team affairs in his first spell as Chelsea manager and also denied the Russian owner went over his head to land big-money buy Andriy Shevchenko in 2006.

Mourinho said he was in complete control of all playing matters between 2004 and 2007 and also gave an insight into the behind-the-scenes activity that led to the signing of AC Milan striker Shevchenko for 30 million pounds.

"The owner never, never during my time did he try to interfere in the basic things of the manager," the 50-year-old Portuguese told reporters.

"The basic things are training sessions, team selection, profile of the players you want to bring."

Mourinho, who signed a four-year contract earlier this month to return to Chelsea, said the Shevchenko transfer was a good example of how he and the billionaire owner used to work in tandem in his previous three-and-a-half-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

"We wanted to buy Samuel Eto'o from Barcelona," said the former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto manager. "Why? Because he was the only player I could play with Didier Drogba, changing the system to two strikers.

"The boss (Abramovich) did everything to bring Eto'o. In the end Barcelona said 'we don't sell, forget it'.

"After that we went to other options and got to Shevchenko, and I was happy with Shevchenko," Mourinho said.

"When you buy 20 kids, not 20 kids will go to the first team, and even with the top dogs when you pay 30, 40, 50 or 60 million sometimes it just doesn't work and it doesn't mean you or the club made a mistake."

Ukrainian international Shevchenko was one of the finest strikers in world football but he flopped at Chelsea and was never able to recapture the form that won him the 2004 European Footballer of the Year award.

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