Mourinho’s nine-word remark whispered into Guardiola’s ear sums him up
Jose Mourinho interrupted by Roma stars celebrating Conference win
Jose Mourinho has never been one to hold himself back throughout his managerial career, as supporters of the teams he has managed can attest to. The Portuguese head coach announced himself to the Premier League by dubbing himself the ‘special one’ during his Chelsea unveiling in 2004 and he has rarely stopped making headlines since.
After two titles in England, he then moved to Inter Milan, where Mourinho’s feud with Pep Guardiola began. The duo provided fireworks in several El Clasico matches after Mourinho moved to Real Madrid, but in 2010 one comment may have instigated their long-standing back and forth.
Mourinho had guided Inter to a 3-1 victory over Barcelona at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final but faced a difficult prospect at the Nou Camp when Thiago Motta had been sent off after 28 minutes. The La Liga side, reigning holders of the trophy, had been given an advantage and Mourinho noticed that the Barcelona bench had already started celebrating as if they had overcome their 2-0 deficit.
“When Sergio Busquets fell almost knocked out, I was diagonally between our bench, his [Guardiola’s] and the place where Motta was sent off,” Mourinho told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw the Barcelona bench celebrating it as if Guardiola had already won, calling [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic to give instructions.”
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While Guardiola was imposing his tactics on Ibrahimovic, Mourinho interrupted their chat while the entire stadium had erupted with joy and calmly whispered in his opposite number’s ear: “Don’t throw the party, the game is not over.”
Inter held off for nearly an hour before Gerard Pique scored to tee up a grandstand finish, with Barcelona needing just one goal to progress to the final. They thought they had scored it, as recently-retired Bojan Krkic had the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time but it was ruled out.
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Mourinho was proven right, as he and Inter celebrated their progression to the final where they defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 to complete a historic treble.
The now-Roma boss continued his battles with Guardiola in England, after gauging the eye of Guardiola’s assistant Tito Villanova the following year amid a brawl in the technical area. He was given a one-match ban, while Mourinho has also joked at his Manchester City counterpart for being bald, and frequently clashed on the touchline in the Premier League with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.
However, it was the nine words that began their rivalry – not Mourinho’s first in football – and the celebrations that followed as Inter Milan and their iconic Portuguese boss were on their way to a famous Champions League win.
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