Jose Mourinho’s war of words with ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte amid Serie A reunion next season

Fifteen days. That is how long former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho was out-of-work.

After being axed by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy following a run of indifferent results, Mourinho has sealed a swift return to management, today being announced as the new head coach of Italian giants AS Roma.

The surprise decision will see the Portuguese chief take over the reins in the Italian capital, replacing Paulo Fonseca, ahead of the start of next season, meaning he has a few more months ahead of him before he sets to work in what will be his tenth managerial post.

Having been in charge of newly-crowned Serie A champions Inter Milan for two years between 2008 and 2010, a return to Italy will not be too unfamiliar for the 58-year-old, who only admitted over the weekend that he was in no rush to seal a return to the dugout.

A return to Italy will see him join a whole host of-big names who are currently managers, featuring Benevento’s Filippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo of Juventus and Sampdoria chief Claudio Ranieri.

As well as joining those three in Serie A, he will also be reunited with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who is in charge of Inter.

In the past, Mourinho and Conte have not shied away from being involved in heated battles on the pitch and wars of words off it.

Back in October 2016, Chelsea hammered Manchester United, who were managed by Mourinho at the time, by four goals to nil at Stamford Bridge, as they stormed their way towards the Premier League title.

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That day, Conte, according to Mourinho, had “humiliated” him and his players with his celebrations on the touchline.

Mourinho, as quoted by Sky Sports, said: “You don’t celebrate like that at 4-0, you can do it at 1-0, otherwise it’s humiliating for us.”

A month later, Conte, although he did not reference him, appeared to aim a sly dig back at Mourinho with a bold claim about Victor Moses. The Nigerian had rarely featured during Mourinho’s tenure at Stamford Bridge but racked up 40 appearances in all competitions for the Blues during the 2016/17 campaign.

Conte admitted that he was surprised that the versatile right-sided player had been overlooked.

Jose Mourinho (left) and Antonio Conte are set to be reunited in Serie A. (Image: John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images).
Jose Mourinho (left) and Antonio Conte are set to be reunited in Serie A. (Image: John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images).

The Italian said: “I noticed his potential from the first days of the summer retreat.

“Moses has important qualities: technique, physical strength, the ability to cover 70 metres of the pitch. I find it incredible that someone like him has been overlooked.”

Just under a year later, in October 2017, Conte and Mourinho were at it again, this time following a Manchester United victory over Benfica in the Champions League.

Mourinho told the press that he never made a fuss about injury problems, whereas he suggested that Conte regularly pointed to them as reasoning behind a drop in form.

“I never speak about injuries. Other managers, they cry, they cry, they cry when a player is injured,” Mourinho said.

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“I don’t cry; I think the way to do it is ignore the players who are injured and focus on the players that are available. If I want to moan and cry like the others, I can cry for the next five minutes. But I don’t.”

Conte then hit back the same evening, saying: “I think he has to think about his team and start looking at himself, not others. I think that, a lot of times, Mourinho [likes to concentrate on] what is happening at Chelsea.

“A lot of times, also last season. [He has] to think about his team.”

In January 2018, the feud between the pair continued, this time with Mourinho suggesting that Conte behaved like a “clown” on the touchline when celebrating his team scoring a goal.

Mourinho said: “Because I don’t behave as a clown on the touchline, it means that I lost my passion.

“I prefer to behave the way I am doing it, much more mature, better for my team and myself, I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion.”

With the two of them having hit back at each other on countless occasions during Conte’s tenure at Stamford Bridge, all eyes will be on the date when Roma and Inter meet next season when the Serie A fixtures for the 2021/22 campaign are revealed.

Whether they will have buried their differences and moved on now that they’re both at different clubs remains to be seen. However, when Roma and Inter go head-to-head next term it is safe to say what the cameras will be focusing on before the game gets underway.

Source by Football London

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