Rafa Benitez questions Mourinho’s sportsmanship

Rafa Benitez


New Napoli boss and former Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez take a hidden swipe at Jose Mourinho and his must win no matter what approach to the game.

During the “Special Ones” first stint in charge at the bridge Mourinho, and Benitez when in charge of Liverpool never saw eye-to-eye with Benítez suggesting that Mourinho’s lack of humility was to blame when discussing his coaching style compared to the Portuguese managers.

Despite a troubled six months at Chelsea with the fans against him the Spaniard still managed to finish third in the league, and to win the Europa League for Chelsea.

Benitez when speaking to the Spanish sports daily AS said: “I don’t know what Mourinho does. I know what I do: I always want to win, without crossing the line of sportsmanship. It’s true that I get on better with some coaches than others and I align myself with those that don’t value winning at any cost.”

Benitez who moved up through the ranks of Real Madrid both playing for and later coaching their reserve team said that it was his time there that helped him to learn the value of sportsmanship.

“I joined Madrid’s academy when I was 13 and learned everything there. I received a sporting education from Madrid and I was taught to show respect and dignity towards the opponents whether we won or lost.”

Now having a fresh start ahead of him at Napoli Benitez thinks that Carlo Ancelotti is the perfect man to try and heal the rift that Mourinho left in his wake saying when talking about the Italian: “I know him well from Milan because of the finals in Athens and Istanbul and we had a very good relationship when we were both in the Premier League. I think it’s the correct choice because he will be a conciliator in the dressing room and inside the club. I think the club will appreciate that change.”

To a Chelsea fan Mourinho has always been the manager that they wanted to have at Stamford Bridge yet it remains to be seen how long the “Special One” can go before the love affair between himself and Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich will last.

The bookies are giving odds of 7/2 that Mourinho will leave Chelsea before the end of the season, what do you think?


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