Mourinho: I'm still England's main man, Carlo! Special One taunts rival Ancelotti

24 February 2010 11:30
Jose Mourinho warned Carlo Ancelotti that the Italian has a long way to go to match his level of popularity in England after recalling his pride at being offered the job of national manager.

Mourinho was quick to hit back at Ancelotti's claim that all of Italy, barring Inter Milan fans, will be cheering on Chelsea in Wednesday's Champions League knockout clash in the San Siro by talking up his reputation in his former home.

Describing his emotions at being offered the chance to replace Sven Goran Eriksson after the World Cup in 2006, Mourinho said: 'I could have been England manager. For a foreign coach to have the possibility to lead a country like England - I was the proudest man in the world.

Just for laughs! Mourinho taunts Ancelotti ahead of the eagerly anticipated first leg clash at the San Siro

'I thought, I thought, I thought and I thought. I was fighting myself. On one side I wanted it, on one side I knew it was not the job for me. Not for my mentality, my passion for football, for training every day.'

Discussing Ancelotti's taunt about his unpopularity in Italy, Mourinho added a reference to his run-ins with the former AC Milan coach and his managerial countrymen Luciano Spalletti and Claudio Ranieri, saying: 'If Ancelotti says that (I'm unpopular), it's because he knows, or because somebody told him. Or because he belongs to the clan. I just do my job.'

Italian job! Ivanovic and Lampard training at the San Siro on Tuesday

Ancelotti has certainly been bitten by the bug of managing in England and reminded Mourinho he is working in the best league in the world.

'In Italy at the moment there are only three teams - Roma, Inter and Milan,' said the Chelsea manager. 'In England we are tested every week. It's not just the top four; there is also Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City.'

Ancelotti is set to play recently recovered Juliano Belletti at left-back against Inter tonight having lost Ashley Cole and Yury Zhirkov to injury.

Words of advice: Mourinho reveals he has be in contact with Cole

Mourinho revealed he had passed on some words of encouragement to Cole, who has been rocked by the break-up of his marriage to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole following a string of alleged affairs by the footballer.

Mourinho said: 'Ashley Cole at this moment has to take care of himself and take care of his recovery. I called him a couple of days ago because I care about him. I wished a very, very quick recovery. Because I like him very, very much my advice to him is stay in England (to play).

'I watched Ashley Cole play until the moment he had his injury and he played superbly. If he has problems then, for sure, they are not on the pitch. I think Ancelotti must give him advice, his family must give him advice and he must think for himself, but I think he should stay in England.'

Cole, who is out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle, travelled to Spain yesterday with team-mate Michael Essien for some warm weather rehabilitation. Essien is recuperating from a knee ligament injury.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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