• Champions League

Mourinho bites back... again

ESPN staff
February 26, 2014
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho clarifies his comments regarding striker Samuel Eto'o

Jose Mourinho may have had his fingers burnt by the Samuel Eto'o affair but that hasn't stopped him renewing hostilities with old foes Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini.

Mourinho enjoyed a tempestuous feud with then-Liverpool manager Benitez during in his first spell in England. The two continued their spat with various pot-shots when Benitez succeeded the departed Mourinho at Inter Milan in 2010, as well as taking over as interim manager at Chelsea last season.

Despite being caught criticising his own players earlier this week in what he insisted was a "joke", Mourinho can't seem to help himself and has had another dig at Benitez.

The calmer one?

Jose Mourinho has feuded with Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini this season © AP
  • At his first press conference after returning to Chelsea last June, Mourinho claimed he would be a "calmer" manager during his second spell at the club.
  • However he has already enjoyed several spats with his rival Premier League managers this season.
  • Having called Arsene Wenger a "voyeur" in 2005, he lambasted the Arsenal boss for failing to win a trophy in the last eight years.
  • "He's a specialist in failure," said Mourinho. "If I do that in Chelsea, eight years [without a trophy], I leave and don't come back."
  • Mourinho also took a dig at Manuel Pellegrini following his mathematical mix-up when he didn't realise Manchester City could finish top of their Champions League group with one more goal in their 3-2 win at Bayern Munich.
  • "Pellegrini made comments about the way we spent money," said Mourinho. "Academically he is an engineer and he does not need a calculator to work it out. [Juan] Mata was sold for £37m, [Kevin] de Bruyne £18. That is £55m."

Chelsea face Galatasaray in Istanbul tonight as they bid to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, having dropped out in the group stage into the Europa League last season. Benitez had taken over from Roberto Di Matteo following Chelsea's 3-0 defeat at Juventus, and despite a 6-1 win at home to Nordsjaelland could not prevent the club finishing third in their group.

Benitez went on to guide Chelsea to victory in the Europa League - but Mourinho has belittled that success as something below the club's stature, saying that it was their "worst" year.

While preparing for tonight's game, Mourinho said: "The Europa League comes as a consequence of being eliminated in the group phase [of the Champions League].

"So I don't consider last year as a successful year because our competition is the Champions League. Last year was our worst year because it's the only time Chelsea have been knocked out in the group phase.

"We have already done better this season by qualifying through the group phase but what we did is normal - it's nothing special, nothing outstanding.

"We did what we had to do in a group which was not one of the strongest. We did our job."

Ahead of tonight's match, the Chelsea boss also responded to Galatasaray manager Mancini's barb that Mourinho's Champions League win with Inter in 2010 was partly down to him.

"Mourinho won the Champions League because he took a good team," said Mancini, whom Mourinho replaced at the club in 2008 despite the former winning a third consecutive Serie A title.

However Mourinho hit back by claiming Mancini is a "five-a-side" manager. He said: "It's funny because my [Inter] team in the final had Lucio, Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o, Goran Pandev and Wesley Sneijder.

"From 11 players, he didn't work with six of them. So he made a five-a-side team because I played with only five players from his team."

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