Ricardo Carvalho has expressed his shock at losing 'the best coach in the world' after Jose Mourinho parted company with Chelsea.
The Portuguese left Stamford Bridge yesterday by mutual consent after the club revealed there had been a 'breakdown' in his relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy.
Defender Carvalho arrived at the Blues from Porto where he won the Champions League under Mourinho and he expressed his belief that the former manager was unsurpassed as a coach.
Carvalho told the Daily Mail: 'We are extremely sad about this. We are sad and we are shocked.
'For me there is no doubt, Jose Mourinho is the best coach in the world and I cannot believe that we have lost him.
'I never thought he would leave Chelsea without finishing his work, without achieving everything he wanted to.
'This is the first time he has ever done this and it will be terrible for him. He loved Chelsea.
'It has come as an enormous surprise to all the players.
'In the past few weeks the coach was unhappy because of our bad results but we were all working together towards a solution.'
Midfielder Claude Makelele echoed Carvalho's shock although he admitted recent results had taken their toll on Mourinho.
Makelele told the Daily Star: 'This news was like a bomb for me. I would never have believed we would see the exit of the coach just two months into the season.
'We have seen the tension on Mourinho with the results in the Premier League, but he was still confident.
'The new injuries had really hit the manager hard and you could see the anxiety grow as the results started to go wrong.
'I first heard the news after getting a text from a team-mate. I do not know the new manager that well but he is a football man and that is important for the future of Chelsea.
'He faces a big challenge because he will always be compared to Mourinho by the press and the fans.'
Mourinho himself insisted he was looking forward to returning to football, telling The Times: 'I am waiting for the phone calls.
'I want to enjoy my life but I want to work.'