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Manchester United's Jose Mourinho and City's Pep Guardiola the best of enemies

Manchester awaits new touchline rivalry when two men who were once so close at Barcelona go head-to-head

By Pete Jenson

Published 27/05/2016

Old pals act: Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will clash again next season, this time in charge of Manchester’s rival clubs, City and United
Old pals act: Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will clash again next season, this time in charge of Manchester’s rival clubs, City and United

Not every image of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola has them at loggerheads on the touchline of the Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabeu.

One well-worn photo, with the two men sat side by side in their Barcelona training tops circa 1997, tells a very different story.

Pep was still the hearbeat of Barça's midfield and Jose was assistant to Bobby Robson and then to Louis van Gaal.

They look close in the photograph and they were. Mourinho was popular with the players: he was charming, didn't take himself too seriously, he evidently had a fine football brain - qualities appreciated by Guardiola.

The fondness was mutual, not for nothing did Mourinho want Guardiola as his No. 2 when he auditioned for the Barcelona job with a Powerpoint presentation to the club's directors Tkiki Begiristain and Marc Ingla in 2008.

The two men won trophies together and when they beat Paris Saint Germain in Rotterdam in the 1997 Cup Winners Cup final they embraced on the pitch, jumping up and down in jubilation, a moment Mourinho would remember years later once installed as Real Madrid manager in the opposite corner to Pep.

"I still have a photo of that embrace," he said. "We were close."

The closeness was another reason it hurt Guardiola all the more when things turned as ugly as they did during their two seasons spent as Barcelona and Real Madrid managers.

That's why when ahead of the first leg of Real Madrid and Barcelona's Champions League semi-final in 2011 Pep ranted: "In the press room, he is the boss, the one who knows more than anyone else." He also said: "I just want to remember that we were together for four years. He knows me and I know him."

Mourinho had started that particular row sarcastically suggesting that Guardiola was breaking new ground by criticising referees even when they were right.

Jose Mourinho's best moments: Would you like me to lapdance for you?
Jose Mourinho made an appearance on Italian television show Chiambretti Night, shortly after his move to Italy. As England manager Fabio Capello once found out, part of the show involves a private dance from a scantily clad woman. Mourinho appeared to find it difficult to stay awake for the performance.
Jose Mourinho's best moments: Would you like me to lapdance for you? Jose Mourinho made an appearance on Italian television show Chiambretti Night, shortly after his move to Italy. As England manager Fabio Capello once found out, part of the show involves a private dance from a scantily clad woman. Mourinho appeared to find it difficult to stay awake for the performance.
Mourinho announces his arrival
Mourinho's first press conference in England, staged to announce his appointment as Chelsea manager, was to both start the trend of things to come and lay the foundations for his legend:
'Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.'
Time to celebrate Before Mourinho was appointed as manager of Chelsea, many English fans were already aware of his existence - especially Manchester United fans. In charge of Porto, his team came to Old Trafford and beat the odds by knocking United out of the Champions League thanks to a last minute goal. As Costinha bundled the ball home, Mourinho set off on a wild run down the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate.
Le Professor? Non. Le Voyeur 'I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur,' Mourinho famously said of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in October 2005. 'He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.'
Winning the title After Mourinho's assertion that he was the 'Special One', the Portuguese wasted no time in proving the doubters wrong. In his first season as Chelsea boss, he led the club to their first league title in 50 years. He would go on to win the league title again the following season as well as the FA Cup, two League Cups and one Community Shield during his time in charge.
Omelettes and eggs 'It is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs.' Mourinho was explaining in his own special way the issue of money drying up at Stamford Bridge. He continued: 'In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.'
Terrier threat Mourinho was arrested and cautioned in 2007 after allegedly refusing to allow police to quarantine his pet dog. He reportedly rushed home from an awards ceremony after he was tipped off by his wife about what was going on. Upon returning home, eyewitnesses claimed he freed the animal from the health officials, rushed out into the street and encouraged his pet to run off. He then told them, 'I've sent my dog to St Tropez.'
Pressure ....We're told that football managers are under constant pressure. But Mourinho didn't agree: Pressure? There is no pressure. Bird Flu is pressure. (The press laugh) No, you laugh, but I am being serious. I am more worried about the swan then I am about football.
Out with the laundry This story is unproven, but the audacity of it if it is true makes it worth recounting. Mourinho was banned by Uefa from having any contact with his Chelsea players during the 2005 Champions League quarter-finals. To get around this, it's alleged that Mourinho sneaked into the ground early and gave both the pre-game and half-time team-talks. While the game was in play, Mourinho watched from the dressing room and relayed instructions to assistant Rui Faria, who it's suggested was wearing an earpiece - covered by a suspiciously large hat (pictured). After the game Mourinho was reportedly wheeled out of the stadium in a laundry basket.
On the bus Following a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho quipped:
'As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.'
Sssshhhh... Mourinho bagged his first trophy for Chelsea with a Carling Cup triumph over Liverpool. But at the time almost as much was made of his gesture to Liverpool fans as was Chelsea's 3-2 win. When Steven Gerrard scored a late own-goal to send the match into extra-time, Mourinho turned to the Liverpool fans, who had been barracking him all game, and put his finger to his lips as if to suggest 'be quiet'. Mourinho later claimed he was gesturing towards the press - but no-one believed him.
Rijkaard and the ref 'When I saw Rijkaard entering the referee's dressing room I couldn't believe it. When Drogba was sent off I didn't get surprised.'
This quote from Mourinho caused a storm. The Chelsea boss was suggesting that Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard had paid a visit to the dressing room of referee Anders Frisk during half-time of their Champions League encounter. It was a hugely damaging statement that led to a two match ban for Mourinho, saw him labelled the 'enemy of football' by Uefa's head of referees, and led to the retirement of Frisk who was receiving death threats following the match.
Melons Mourinho apparently liked using food as an analogy for his thoughts, as he proved when discussing his youth players at Chelsea:
'Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don't taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic. For example, Scott Sinclair, the way he played against Arsenal and Man United, we know the melon we have.'
Chin up
An enduring image of Mourinho was his gesture to Chelsea fans that they keep their 'chin up' following a draw to Arsenal that ended their hopes of another league title. His strength in the face of defeat was another feather in his bow.
It's the president When Mourinho when asked by a Ghanaian journalist if he ever phoned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to see how he was, the Portuguese replied:
'Would you phone the president of Ghana?'
Bonjourno Mourinho showed no signs of letting up after his move to Italy. Much like his introduction to England, he captivated the press at the first opportunity. In his opening press conference he spoke fluent Italian (something he claimed to have learned in three-weeks 'because I'm very intelligent'). And following one awkward question, Mourinho paused before delivering a classic piece of Milanese slang: 'Non sono un pirla' - 'I'm not a d**khead'. The room exploded in laughter and brought Mourinho his first round of applause on Italian soil.
Take him down Mourinho's popularity waned during his time in Italy, when his constant jibes at officials, managers and referees antagonised just about everyone in Italy, including his own fans. A notable episode involved the Special One performing a 'handcuffs' gesture after seeing Inter's Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba sent off and Samuel Eto'o booked in a match with Sampdoria. He received a three-game ban.
Leaving on a high Despite the mutual disharmony between Mourinho and Italy in general, after completing an unprecedented treble with Inter Milan last season, a shared respect was formed. Mourinho would leave Inter shortly after their Champions League triumph, declaring:
'My work here is done. I have been very happy at Inter but not in the world of Italian football because I don't like all the comments from presidents, coaches and papers. But I will always like Inter. I want to thank Italian football because I have become a better coach for it.'
Up to his old tricks Ahead of the first of Real Madrid's current four meetings with Barcelona, it was announced shortly before a press conference that Mourinho would not be answering questions. Instead, his assistant Aitor Karanka would be speaking. But then, rather bizarrely, Mourinho attended the press conference yet continued his silence. Journalists were furious and staged a mass walk-out.
The Premier League success is Jose Mourinho's third with the club
Jose Mourinho says his Premier League-winning side will have to be even better next season
Crowning moment: Jose Mourinho and Chelsea bid farewell to Didier Drogba after lifting the Premier League trophy
Shocking: Jose Mourinho has been left stunned by events at Chelsea this season
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side are under pressure going into the clash with Liverpool
Eva Carneiro
A supporters wearing a Jose Mourinho mask waves from his seat ahead of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on October 31, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Chelsea fans hold a banner to show their faith to Jose Mourinho prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Chelsea fans wearing Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Diego Costa masks are seen on the stand prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho watched as his side lost 3-1 to Liverpool
Out of form: Diego Costa was on the bench for Chelsea
Chelsea's assistant manager Steve Holland (left), Diego Costa and Kenedy (right) before the Barclays Premier League match at the White Hart Lane, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 29, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Tottenham. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (top) passes Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho as he goes to warm up during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane in north London on November 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (R) walks along the touch line during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane in north London on November 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (cenrtre) with assistants Rui Faria (left) and Steve Holland on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at The King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 14, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's miserable season shows no sign of improving
Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: A Stoke City fan wears a Jose Mourinho mask as he poses with a P45 for Louis van Gaal, manager of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Jose Mourinho

Mourinho's comments came in the middle of a five-game period of Clasico meetings in the cup, league and Champions League. The Barca players had been watching Mourinho's press conference in their Madrid team hotel. The television had been turned up. And their manager had been pushed over the edge.

Guardiola responded in that 45-minute rant, but he had also wanted to remind Mourinho of how close the two had been.

Speaking about the Madrid press that he believed had fed the fire of the pair's feud he added: "If he wants to pay more attention to them than to the friendship, well maybe not friendship, but relationship that we had then he is perfectly within his rights to do that."

As well as being furious at the smear on Barca's ability to win without help from referees or lose without blaming them, he felt he'd been slighted by, if not an old friend, then certainly a fondly-remembered acquaintance.

With his going to war hat on Mourinho had little time for nostalgia. Pep was beating him on a regular basis and has done so consistently since they stopped working together at Barcelona.

Not only did Guardiola dominate Mourinho's Madrid having been given the Barça job ahead of him but he was also offered the Chelsea job ahead of Mourinho who only then landed it because Pep said no.

Even the Manchester United job has come Mourinho's way after United failed to do what most of their fans were urging them to do and go all out to get Guardiola.

What remains to be seen now is to what extent the pair resume hostilities.

Guardiola left Barça drained by the strain of managing one of the most political clubs in football, but the at-times poisonous atmosphere that polluted the Clasicos had added to the sense that he was better out of it, so Mourinho had been a key contributory factor.

Their relationship will not be the same in England. Manchester City's rivalry with United cannot compare with Barcelona's with Real Madrid.

There are no political overtones and no matter how incendiary their rematch, there will be other battles to be fought.

Mourinho will not be able to make Guardiola his sole focus. After all it is with Arsene Wenger that he has the worst relationship. And he will also be taking on Antonio Conte at his former club and possibly Manuel Pellegrini at Everton.

The old enmity will not resurface with the same intensity. Neither will the even older friendship make a comeback.

Who knows they might even share a post-match glass of wine.

If they do Guardiola will probably still make sure Mourinho drinks from his cup first … just in case.

Jose Mourinho’s hitlist

Jose Mourinho’s impending arrival at Manchester United will place question marks over several of the club’s players. Here are the 10 players most at risk and  their chances of survival?

JUAN MATA: The Spaniard perhaps has most to worry about from Mourinho’s appointment, having been sold to United by the Portuguese in 2014, but while Mata lacks the pace and physical strength to become a key man under Mourinho, his knack of big goals in may yet play in his favour. SURVIVAL RATING: 6/10

MARCOS ROJO: The Argentine defender has endured an injury-hit time at Old Trafford since arriving from Sporting Lisbon. While Rojo possesses the physical attributes of a typical Mourinho defender, his poor concentration ensures his days will be numbered. SURVIVAL RATING: 3/10

ANDER HERRERA: The £28.8m midfielder is under threat because he lacks a defined role and has struggled to make an impact during two seasons at United/ Does not do enough to influence games and could be offloaded this summer. SURVIVAL RATING: 4/10

DALEY BLIND: The Dutch defender became a key man under Louis van Gaal, impressing at centre-half last season having also played in midfield and at full-back. Blind may lose his centre-back position under Mourinho, but his versatility will earn him a stay of execution. SURVIVAL RATING: 8/10

MICHAEL CARRICK: The 34-year-old is out of contract this summer and still waiting t hear if he will be offered a new deal, but his experience and knowledge of the Premier League is likely to see Carrick handed a one-year deal by Mourinho. SURVIVAL RATING: 8/10

PHIL JONES: Once regarded as a future England centre-half, but Jones has endured an injury nightmare at Old Trafford. But Mourinho likes to build his teams around a core of domestic players and Jones may yet be given the chance to prove himself for that reason.  SURVIVAL RATING: 6/10

BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER: The Germany captain was a major disappointment last season having arrived to great fanfare from Bayern Munich. A Van Gaal loyalist, Schweinsteiger may find life too demanding under Mourinho and he appears an obvious candidate to be moved on. SURVIVAL RATING: 2/10

MAROUANE FELLAINI: Fellaini divides opinion at Old Trafford, with many regarding the Belgian as typifying the worst of Van Gaal’s reign, but he is effective and Mourinho is likely to regarded the former Everton midfielder as a useful Plan B, particularly with his physical presence. SURVIVAL RATING: 7/10

MEMPHIS DEPAY: Mourinho turned Arjen Robben into a star during his first spell at Chelsea and Depay arrived at United with a reputation as Holland’s successor to the Bayern Munich winger. He had a disastrous first season, though, and needs to improve his attitude to survive under Mourinho. SURVIVAL RATING: 5/10

ADNAN JANUZAJ: Januzaj became a forgotten man under Van Gaal, but United still believe the Belgian can become a world-class talent. He will be forced to accept Mourinho’s tough approach, but it worked for Joe Cole at Chelsea and Januzaj could yet salvage his United career under the Special One.  SURVIVAL RATING: 6/10

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