Compiled By Markson Omagor
Mourinho freely admits that he sees press conferences as a stage, his chance to get one over on his rivals – and he was back to his best this week on that stage.
Following Manchester United’s Champions League exit, the Tottenham manager couldn’t resist a swipe at his old club and their manager, his successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The legendary Portuguese boss insisted that it is ‘not fair’ that Manchester United will drop into the Europa League – a competition in which his Spurs side have progressed from their group to the knockout stages.
In football, when for some reason we don’t succeed, unlucky, next season,’ he said. ‘From the sporting point of view it’s not fair that a team that doesn’t succeed in one competition drops to another.’
If Solskjaer was riled by those comments, however, he might consider the alternative view that he has got off lightly, given what Jose has said about his rivals in the past.
Jose’s verbal volleys have put down Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola, Rafa Benitez and many more in his 20-year managerial career so far. Here are 10 of the best…
WENGER THE SPECIALIST IN FAILURE
‘If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure. He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.’
After six years’ peace, Wenger was back in Jose’s firing line when he returned to Chelsea. In February 2014, he wasted no time highlighting Arsenal’s trophy drought. Wenger would infamously shove Mourinho at Stamford Bridge later that year.
MESSI FOR AN OSCAR?
‘How do you say cheating in Catalan? Can Messi be suspended for acting? Barcelona is a cultural city with many great theatres and this boy has learned very well. He’s learned play-acting.’
No one is safe from Jose’s sharp tongue, though the world’s greatest player was only 18 when Mourinho accused him of diving to get Asier Del Horno sent off in the Champions League last-16 in February 2006.
PEP’S GREATEST TRIUMPH A SCANDAL
‘Guardiola is a fantastic coach but I have won two Champions Leagues. He has won one and that is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge and if he wins it this year it will be with the scandal of the Bernabeu. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a proper Champions League, a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal.’
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola became the new target of Mourinho’s spite during his three-year spell at Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013. After losing a bad-blooded Champions League semi-final in April 2011, Jose was quick to undermine Pep’s success before Barca went on to beat Manchester United in the final.
NO WEIGHT BEHIND RAFA CLAIMS
‘The only club where her husband replaced me was at Inter Milan, where in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time. And for her also to think about me and to speak about me, I think the lady needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me.’
Fast-forwarding to July 2015 when Rafa Benitez took the Real Madrid job, Mourinho was quick to pour scorn on his rival’s wife’s claim that her husband was always cleaning up Jose’s mess – throwing in a dig about his weight for good measure.
‘[Luke Shaw] had a good performance but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.’
It’s not just opposition managers and players who Mourinho targets – his own players aren’t safe either. Having never been convinced by Luke Shaw while Manchester United boss, Mourinho greeted a strong performance with these words in April 2017.
CARVALHO’S IQ TEST
‘Ricardo Carvalho seems to have problems understanding things, maybe he should have an IQ test, or go to a mental hospital or something.’
Mourinho had harsh words too for Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho when he spoke out after being dropped in August 2005. His fellow Portuguese fought his way back into the side and signed for Mourinho again at Real Madrid.
PEP HAIR THEORY
‘When you enjoy what you do, you don’t lose your hair, and Guardiola is bald. He doesn’t enjoy football.’
Mourinho and Guardiola got into an argument about the length grass should be on a football pitch at a UEFA coaches forum in September 2014, when in charge of Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Mourinho’s response was to highlight Pep’s hair loss.
‘I prefer to behave the way I’m doing it. Much more mature, better for my team, better for myself. I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion. That passion you see it every day, the way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras.’
With Mourinho struggling at Manchester United and Antonio Conte thriving at Chelsea, Jose couldn’t resist a dig at the Italian’s touchline antics after his side were beaten 4-0 by the Blues in January 2018.
RANIERI LOST IN TRANSLATION
‘I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.’
Having taken his job at Chelsea, Mourinho and Ranieri became rivals in Serie A when the former joined Inter with the latter coach at Juventus. In 2008, former translator Jose couldn’t help but bring up his superior language skills.