Jose Mourinho has said there is a "big focus on egos" in European football when asked to explain how Japan managed to upset Germany at the 2022 World Cup.
The Roma boss said he did not believe Japan's thrilling 2-1 victory over Germany in their World Cup opener in Qatar was "a crazy surprise" because Japanese players "do not play for themselves".
Mourinho cited his experience coaching South Korea captain Son Heung-min at Tottenham and how he understood that the "mentality is really special" in comparison to some European players.
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"I think in this moment in European football, there is a big focus on the individual, a big focus on egos," Mourinho said in Japan.
"When I look to your profile as people, your profile as a country, I have never coached Japanese players, but I have coached Asian players.
"In my case, I was lucky because I have coached the best Asian player, [Son Heung-min], and I understand that the mentality is really special.
"The team is the most important thing. People play for the team, they do not play for themselves."
On Japan's victory over Germany in particular, he added: "Of course, it is a fantastic achievement, but to be honest, it was not like a crazy surprise.
"Japan is a good team, it has good players, and it is getting experiences at these events.
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"The majority of their players play in Europe where they develop faster and they understand better what is the high-level game.
"I think the mentality of the players and the team can also make a difference."
When asked if he would be interested in the future if the Blue Samurai wanted a foreign head coach, he said "you can never say never".
Mourinho and Roma are in Japan this week for the Euro-Japan Cup, which consists of two friendlies with J1 League sides Nagoya Grampus and Yokohama F Marinos.
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