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Retired German forward Andre Schurrle has spoken about his time at Chelsea and how a demanding Jose Mourinho left him lacking self-belief.
Schurrle had a year and a half at Stamford Bridge from 2013 to 2015, winning the Premier League title thanks to a handful of appearances at the start of his second campaign in London, though he was never really a regular in the blue shirt.
After later playing for Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund and loans at Fulham and Spartak Moscow, Schurrle called time on his career in the summer aged 29.
Talking to German presenter Joko Winterscheidt, Schurrle labelled Mourinho a “brutal guy” and explained how at the time he was unable to take on board the Portuguese manager’s constant demands of his players.
“I always thought to myself: 'What does he do anyway? Why does he treat me like this? Why does he do this to people?',” he said, per the Mail.
"In retrospect, I realise what he wanted and what resources he was working with. At the time, I couldn't really deal with the things he wanted from me because of all the harshness and the psychological pressure.
“Back then, it was extremely difficult. I would often drive home after conversations with him and just thought I couldn't do it anymore. What could I do? He was building up such extreme pressure.”
Schurrle says that being regularly taken out of the starting line-up, having had little chance to shine, damaged his self-confidence and took away from the positives he could bring as a previously regular goalscorer with Bayer Leverkusen.
“It was often the case that I played from the start and then he'd replace me at half-time. Then, in the next game, I wasn't in the squad and I was in the stands. I couldn't understand that at the time and I lost my self-esteem. My ego was hurt.”
Schurrle scored 22 goals at international level for Germany in 57 caps, being part of the 2014 World Cup-winning squad.
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