Mourinho is a joke! All of Italy will cheer on Chelsea, says rival Ancelotti

23 February 2010 02:26
The war of words between Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho intensified on Monday when the Chelsea manager declared that the whole of Italy would be supporting his side in Wednesday's Champions League clash at the San Siro.

Playing on the theme that Mourinho has fast become the most unpopular man in Italian football, Ancelotti declared to one of the country's news-papers that 'everyone in Italy, except the Inter fans, will be supporting Chelsea'.

On Monday Mourinho, former Chelsea boss and one-time 'enemy of football', underlined his pariah status when he received a three-match touchline ban for his handcuffs gesture to a referee at the weekend.

No love lost: Mourinho and Ancelotti (right) together representing previous clubs

The rival managers clashed when they shared the San Siro as the bosses of AC Milan and Inter, and Ancelotti took a number of swipes at Mourinho in the autobiography he published last year, referring to the self-anointed Special One as 'His Speciality'.

But two months after hearing Mourinho express a desire to return one day to Stamford Bridge, Ancelotti chose the week of their last-16 encounter at the San Siro to reignite their long-running feud.

Il Giornale, the paper that carried the interview with Ancelotti, said he was right to believe most of Italy would be backing the leaders of the Barclays Premier League, declaring that it 'was not far from the truth'.

Touchline ban: Jose Mourinho landed himself in hot water for this 'handcuff' gesture

Ancelotti rapped his predecessor for dismissing the achievements of his successors, saying: 'It's true that after him (Mourinho) nobody has won anything for Chelsea, although some bloke called Grant didn't do so bad and came close with the Champions League final.

'He is good at charging up the atmosphere and the team, but it's ground I would never go on.'

Ancelotti also revealed that Chelsea would be staying in a city centre hotel normally favoured by Inter.

Mourinhoreceived a £40,000 fine as well as a three-match touchline ban for hishandcuffs gesture in Inter's 0-0 draw against Sampdoria.

Italianreferees are also threatening strike action as a result of his mostrecent behaviour. The Italian FA described Mourinho's actions as'excessive and against the decision of the match referee', and the banwill be immediate for Serie A matches.

Incredibly, it is the third suspension Mourinho has received this season.

Thecontroversy is sure to hasten his return to English football, even ifhis chances of beating his old club were boosted by news Chelsea have aserious left-back problem.

Not fit: Yury Zhirkov (left) was unable to travel to Milan because of a calf injury

Ashley Cole was already sidelined, but Yury Zhirkov will not travel because of a calf injury. Juliano Belletti was unable to train properly on Monday because of a knee problem.

Ancelotti will hope Belletti recovers in time but he may have to turn to Florent Malouda as emergency cover.

Meanwhile, Cole's showdown with the Chelsea board will not take place until after Wednesday's match. 

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Source: Daily_Mail