It was under Mourinho, he says, that he played his best football. The former Chelsea manager would usually greet a man-of-the-match performance from Cole with public criticism of the performance for tactical or technical deficiencies.
"Looking back, I just think the man's a genius because he saw something in me that I didn't see in myself," Cole told the Mail on Sunday. "He saw that he could get more out of me than I was asking of myself, even if it meant getting under my skin and annoying me. That's why he's the best manager in the world. He knows what players need."