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Mourinho: I convinced big clubs about African talent at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho is proud of his record of bringing African players to Chelsea.

The Inter Milan boss says he was responsible for the rise of African players in Europe, having brought Ivorian Didier Drogba and Ghanaian Michael Essien to Chelsea.

He said: "There have always been Africans playing in the main European leagues. But I don't know if I'm wrong in saying that I was one of the first to decide that African players have the quality to play in big clubs.

"How many African players were there playing in big clubs? Few.

"And suddenly Chelsea made millionaire signings at the time, Essien and Drogba, who proved to everyone that African players had the ability to play at the highest level.

"Then afterwards Barcelona signed Toure, Real Madrid signed Diarra, Arsenal signed Adebayor.

"Within a few years players playing in the African Cup of Nations went from being unknown or little known to joining big clubs, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid."

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