Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho were never the closest of friends when both were in Premier League action at the same time, so it’s little surprise to see the spat still continuing from afar.
The Daily Mirror is reporting that Benitez has jumped into the Mourinho – Wenger “failure” debate by branding the Portuguese a failure in Europe. It’s a response to Mourinho’s jibe that the Blues underperformed when winning the Europa League under the Spaniard, as they should have been in the Champions League instead. Although that can hardly be landed at the doorstep of Benitez – the club was eliminated from Europe’s top competition before he arrived – the ex-Liverpool maanger still felt the need to respond.
“Mourinho talks a lot about a lot of people, but I prefer to talk about facts. At Liverpool, with a squad half of the value of Chelsea, we twice knocked his Chelsea side out of the Champions League,” he declared. He continued “Later, with the most expensive squad at Real Madrid, he did nothing in the Champions League. Now he says if there is an offer of hundreds of millions for Hazard and Oscar, maybe he can build a strong squad to win something.”
It’s an interesting twist on history. Mourinho has actually secured the top prize in European football with two different clubs, and is the only manager in history to win league titles in England, Spain and Italy. Bur this is football, let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a good argument.
When Benitez was asked about Chelsea’s defeat by Italian television at the weekend, he smiled and declared “I am happy for Liverpool – I have lots of friends there.” He didn’t state it, but there’s at least one man at Chelsea that he couldn’t say that about.
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