Dimitar Berbatov: I understand Mourinho's impatience but safety comes first

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho
Mourinho overseeing Spurs training in February

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov discusses Jose Mourinho's park training session with Spurs players and the proposed return of the Bundesliga...

"If the Bundesliga's plan to resume in May works then I hope other leagues will learn from the Germans’ example and find ways for football to return safely."

Jose Mourinho has admitted he was wrong to hold an informal training session with three Tottenham players on Hadley Common in north London.

He did it because he is impatient for football to return, and I understand that, but he's broken the social distancing rules and that's not good. Footballers and managers are in an influential position in society and they need to set an example to their fans in this very difficult situation.

I can't say I was particularly surprised by Mourinho's behaviour. He has always operated outside the box and that's one of the reasons he's been successful and fans love him. But this is different. Hopefully, although it was a mistake to hold this session on the common, Mourinho and his players were still keeping a safe distance from each other.


I can see why Mourinho would be desperate to get back to work. Everyone in football wants the game to return as soon as possible. And when you hear that other leagues are already setting a date for when they will resume, then you become even more impatient to get back. But public health comes first.

For players, sitting at home, trying to stay fit, is difficult because they want to be as sharp as possible when the season restarts. Footballers are in a fortunate position, though, compared to most people. Many players live in large houses with gardens so they can improvise training routines at home, with weights for example, but it's not the same and it isn't easy to stay focused.

Bundesliga could set example to other leagues

It's not a big surprise to me that the Bundesliga could be the first major league in Europe to return to action. I follow the league closely and, from my time playing for Bayer Leverkusen, I know that football in Germany is extremely well-run and organised in a very safe and professional manner.


I've read that the Bundesliga and Germany's second tier plans to return in early May. Matches will be played behind closed doors and officials say they've worked out how many people will need to be involved and how it can be done safely. If the plan works then I hope other leagues will learn from the Germans' example and find ways for football to return safely.

I'm as keen as anyone to watch football and I know some fans are watching old matches. At the moment, though, I'm overseeing my children's online learning from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon and then relaxing with them, watching movies and spending quality time, so I have very little time to myself, although I can always find time for football. I have huge respect for teachers everywhere.

New on Betting.Betfair – Betslip

You can now bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our brand new on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles