Roberto Mancini lashed out at Jose Mourinho, before his Galatasaray side hosted Chelsea in the last-16 Champions League tie.
One would think that with Didier Drogba now playing for Galatasaray, him featuring against his old side would be the only focus point on Wednesday night’s last-16 Champions League clash between the Turkish outfit and Chelsea. However, the other focus of the game would be the bitter rivalry that surrounds the two managers- Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho- which has been reignited by Mancini saying Mourinho won the Champions League at Inter because Mancini left him a strong squad. Mourinho won the competition in 2010 as part of a Treble triumph, two years after succeeding the sacked Italian at San Siro. The former City manager said:
“Mourinho won the Champions League (right) because he took a good team. He took a team that, like Manchester City, I had built. A team that had a strong mentality. When I went to Inter, they played very bad football and we changed this.”
The Italian also commented on his former club Manchester City and likened the two instances, where his work was benefiting the present squad and manager:
“This is what they say now but you know I changed [football] history in Manchester. I changed Manchester City history on the pitch. Those first two years in Manchester were very difficult. You needed to work hard. I took a team that didn’t win for a long time and, in three years, I changed their mentality. City became a winning team and started to win at home, win away. When we won the championship, we won all the games at home, only one draw against Sunderland. We won in Manchester against United easy, 6-1. We dominated all the games against Manchester United and they were not a small team. For two years, we were the best team in the Premier League. All these top players that are in City now I bought: Nasri, Yaya, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.”
Mourinho has won the Champions League twice, and it is notable that Mancini has not added the accolade to his name till now. He said:
“To win a Champions League you should be lucky. Champions League is a difficult competition but a strange one. Strange because you can win your group in October, November, December and, after maybe February [in the knock-out stages], everything can change.”
The duo don’t share a pleasant relationship, which was noticeable last season, when the Italian managed Manchester City and Mourinho was in-charge of Real Madrid. Mourinho had then mocked City’s elimination from the Champions League at the group stage. The Portuguese said:
‘It is good that it is City eliminated because Roberto can work without any problems, because if it was Madrid the press would not let me return to Madrid!
‘When you look at the array of players they have it is amazing that they have been eliminated at the group stage for two years running.’
Mourinho did not shake hands with Mancini after their second City match, which was a 1-1 draw at the Etihad (also the match which effectively ruled on City’s Champions League progress), prompting the latter to hit back at Mourinho’s comments and action by claiming it was motivated by jealousy. Mancini also responded to Mourinho’s swipe by saying:
“Mourinho is not my chairman, he is not my owner. What Mourinho said is not interesting. Mourinho wants to talk about everything and for me it is not important.”
Mancini feels like his Galatasaray don’t stand much of a chance against Chelsea and are on the back foot, but they would do a ‘good job’ in the encounter:
“We don’t have a lot of chance even at home because Chelsea are better, one of the best teams in Europe. For Galatasaray to just play Chelsea is an important moment and we need to do a good job.”
Top Image courtesy: www.taringa.net