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Love Him or Hate Him, but José Mourinho’s Never Going to Change

Posted by Marzia Hazra Tuesday, November 10, 2021

Prince MourinhoWhether you love him or hate him, you definitely know who José Mourinho is. Moreover, you can’t help but being affected by what he says. The Portuguese mastermind is as famous for his work on the field as he is for his ability to deliver both highly entertaining and downright insulting - or sometimes even provocative -quotes on a consistent basis. The Inter Milan tactician has made himself many enemies over the course of his career - and he’s not about to change his ways.

We all remember his feud with Arsenal trainer, Arsene Wenger a few years ago. During his coaching spell at Chelsea, Mourinho called the Frenchman a “voyeur” and mocked his rivals for their results on one too many occasions. There have been several more spats and just to mention a few are Rafael Benitez, Alex Ferguson and Franck Rijkaard.

Mourinho’s not about to change and that was clear right from the get-go as he arrived in the Italian Peninsula to take over the coaching duties after Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan.

The Portuguese took his first swipe at Claudio Ranieri - which was only the first leg of a long feud to come - who was then head coach of Juventus, his main contenders for the Scudetto. As Ranieri pointed out Mou’s lack of respect for Italian media by skipping press conferences, the newcomer simply replied; "I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say 'good morning' and 'good afternoon'.

As Juventus lost to Hamburg by a 3-0 scoreline, Ranieri compared his situation with that of Mourinho’s by saying; "Unlike Mourinho I don’t need to win to be sure about what I am doing.” It would prove, however, only to add more fuel the fire as the Inter coach countered with; "I guess he's right with what he said. I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things. This is why I have won so many trophies in my career. Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn't need to win. He is almost 70 years old. He has won a Supercup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality. He's old and he hasn't won anything.”

Mourinho had only begun and continued making enemies ahead of his second game at the helm of Inter as he stated that the team only needed to play ‘ordinary’ in order to the defeat Catania up the upcoming game. There were few who were left amused as Catania sporting director Pietro Lo Monaco blasted the Portuguese to be lacking respect to which Mou arrogantly replied by saying: "Monaco? I know Bayern Monaco (Munich), Monaco of Monte Carlo, the GP of Monaco...I don't know of any other.”

Last March, Inter Milan completed a comeback against AS Roma to play out a 3-3 draw at the San Siro after being awarded a dubious penalty. It was time to pick up the battle of words with Ranieri and what better time than with the ‘Derby d’Italia’ only weeks away? Mourinho launched a stinging attack towards Juventus by talking about “intellectual prostitution” and by bringing up the Calciopoli scandal to point out that Inter were not the only side to collect points based on dubious refereeing decisions.

The relationship between Claudio Ranieri and José Mourinho continued to be a sour one, but ahead of their latest encounter with the former Juventus coach now in charge of AS Roma on Nov.8, Mou maintained that he had nothing but respect for his opponent; “I respect Ranieri. It’s true we have had a few run-ins and who knows there could be more in future, but I respect him as a person and as a Coach,” he insisted.

The rivalry between the two had been fairly ferocious for some time it was not going to be amended by a simple assurance of respect. After playing out another fierce draw, this time 1-1 after goals by Mirko Vucinic and Samuel Eto’o, the pair working the sidelines picked up exactly where they had left off during their latest spat.
"He is always crying and is super happy with the draw. We didn't do enough to win and they didn't even want to win," Mourinho said right after the game.

To this, a furious Ranieri replied; “I like physical football, but next time we need to come here with armour. Inter committed twice as many fouls as we did it was 26 to 13,” snapped Ranieri on Sky Italia. “Mourinho complained? I expected that, he always complains. These were systematic, tactical, professional fouls. They are big bullies and if we allow them to carry on like this then they're going to do it. The referee has to privilege those who play football. This was a tactic and therefore has to be punished,” he continued. “With all the strikers he had at his disposal, he had fewer shots on target than we did. If the first counter had gone well for us, he'd be crying right now. Inter poured forward and did very little with it,” he said.

Despite the harsh words, Ranieri insisted that he does not dislike Mourinho; “I put Mourinho on his own level as a Coach and communicator. He's amazing because he turns everything around so he's always right. He is doing very well in Italy and bringing a lot of attention to Serie A, so anyone who does that makes me happy. It's not true I dislike him. Of course every now and then there is a bit of spice, he says I'm 70 and that I won a little cup, actually I won four and one of them was when he was only an assistant manager at Barcelona.”

The war of words continued two days after the 1-1 draw at the San Siro as Ranieri once again gave his perspective on the situation and even accused the Portuguese of ‘spying’; “Mourinho always sends someone to listen to what others say, then report back so he always arrives prepared for the interviews. Rather than say certain things, he’d have done better to stay silent. At the end of the game I didn’t want to say anything, but when I heard he was accusing me of ‘crying’ and even that the referee was too fussy with the number of fouls, I couldn’t help but give my position. When it’s too much, it really is too much.”

Mourinho will always be Mourinho and whether you love him or hate him, it’s difficult not to go unaffected as he delivers the headlines. Ranieri, however, ended with the tiniest ray of hope for a truce between the two, but considering what has already been said, there is very little hope that the duo will be able to see eye to eye.

“Mourinho is a great communicator and good for Italian football. Maybe [if we] sat down alone in a room we might even agree on things, but when we are in front of a microphone it’s unlikely we’ll ever get along.”

In other words, don’t hold your breath. And also, part four of this feud is probably just around the corner.

1 Responses to Love Him or Hate Him, but José Mourinho’s Never Going to Change

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Very interesting article, Alessa!


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