Liverpool fan Richards calls Mourinho ‘too cocky’

West Indies cricket great Sir Vivian Richards talks all things football at an event to promote the American University of Antigua in Chennai on Wednesday.

West Indies cricket great Sir Vivian Richards interacts with the media at a city hotel on Wednesday.   -  B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

“Are you a Chelsea fan?” Sir Vivian Richards asked, noticing this correspondent's Chelsea-branded backpack. “Tough luck, maan,” he said, bursting into laughter.

The legendary West Indies batsman has a strong connect with football. Before choosing cricket, Richards had turned out for Antigua in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers. He also had trials with English clubs, and as a fan, Liverpool is his favourite.

With the Reds flying high this season, a chirpy Richards discussed all things Liverpool, sacked Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and more, at an event to promote the American University of Antigua here on Wednesday.

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“Ever since Klopp (Jürgen) took over, he has been a breath of fresh air. Liverpool is having success because it looks more like a family. I think to create that sort of environment, it spells good for Liverpool’s future,” he said.

Unbeaten in the league this season and at the top of the table, Liverpool drew with Chelsea 1-1 at the end of September. “We drew with you (Chelsea) didn’t we? 1-1. That’s the closest you will get. And that was in your backyard. Wait until Anfield!” he said with a grin.

The Reds face Bayern Munich in the round-of-16 of the Champions League, a competition where Liverpool has lost three games already, but Richards believes his team can ‘take them down’ because, “they aren’t as tough as they once were.”

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“When you are playing the kind of football that Liverpool is playing, you don’t fear anyone. Before, I would have been a little bit apprehensive to say this. But I am a believer, like Klopp,” he added.

Richards’ opinion on Mourinho belonged to the other end of the spectrum.

“He’s too boring, too cocky in my opinion,” he explained, adding, “He keeps telling about what he won. We don’t want to know what you have done yesterday, we want to know what you can do today.”