In an extract from his forthcoming autobiography, José Mourinho describes his training ground punch-up with Paul Pogba.
“Get over here Pogba, you virus,” I roared. “What’s this video you posted to Facestagram laughing and smiling after Derby dumped us out of the cup? I’ll smash your face in you French cunt.”
I admit my language was indecent, but I was enraged. Pogba marched his 6 foot 2 frame to me, and being the same height, we stood head to head.
“I don’t care how charismatic and handsome you are Mourinho,” he said. “Nobody talks to me like that.”
I hadn’t needed my ninjutsu black belt since beating Iker Cassillas unconscious with a set of nunchakus in 2010 — nearly ten years previous. Would I be rusty? I assumed a textbook grasshopper stance and began circling Paul, mimicking Bruce Lee’s high-pitched miaowing.
Pogba assumed a crouching tiger stance and began circling and miaowing too. This went on for about 40 minutes until Michael Carrick came over and asked us to keep it down.
The first thing they teach in a ninja dojo is that the element of surprise is everything, so I head-butted Carrick unconscious.
“What the?” said Paul.
Seizing upon his confusion I did the splits to lower myself to crotch level and clamped my teeth onto Paul’s genitals. The Japanese call this ancient technique Penisu Noshaku, which loosely translates as ‘The Chewing of the Balls and Penis’.
Paul took off around the training pitch screaming, but my jaws held firm. After a mile or two his pace slowed and he passed out — not a minute too soon, with every inch of skin worn from my knees.
Fellaini tried to start a slow-clap as I stood to my feet, but only Ander Herrera joined in and it fizzled out. It seemed that some of the others were also in need of some Penisu Noshaku.