Jose Mourinho has billed Chelsea as one of the world's best teams but not without taking most of the credit for himself.
The Inter Milan manager, looking ahead to a Champions League duel with his former team, praised Carlo Ancelotti's decision not to make wholesale changes to the system he imposed at Stamford Bridge.
The smug comments will not surprise former AC Milan boss Ancelotti, who despised the arrogance of the self-proclaimed 'Special One' when the pair were city-rivals in Italy.
'Even the warm-up is the one they did in our time,' said Mourinho, who left Chelsea in September 2007 but returned for the first time to watch them against Fulham last December.
'The way they defend set-pieces is exactly the same. The positions they have is the same. Sometimes they play a 4-4-2 diamond and sometimes they play 4-3-3, which are exactly the systems we worked on there.
'I think it's the quality of a good coach and Ancelotti is a good coach to understand how the players feel most comfortable and instead of making crazy changes just fine tune. Ancelotti is very good and the team feels comfortable this way. And the team really is top, one of the best.
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'When I look at that team, only Ivanovic and Anelka are not players from my time. All the others are boys from my time. So it's a team without secrets for me. But, at the same time, I am a coach without secrets for them.
'It will be easy for me but also easy for them. I know them but they know me. I know the way they play, the way they think, but they know the way I coach and prepare my teams.'
Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for the Fulham game to take the emotion out of Inter's visit next month. He said: 'I went on purpose to watch the game, to see people for the first time, to be in the stadium for the first time, because when I go there in March I want to go without emotions.'
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