Soccer

Jose Mourinho’s ‘bald man’ conspiracy theory that fuelled Pep Guardiola feud

They are two of the most successful managers the Premier League have ever seen – and their feud is almost as legendary as their results.

Once upon a time Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were friends and worked well together.

However, as both strive to better the other, it's fair to say those days are long gone.

Back in 1996, Mourinho was employed by barcelona as Bobby Robson's translater while Guardiola was still playing for the club.

The manager described the two men as "quite friendly" while Guardiola himself described it as a "working relationship".

Even after Robson left, Mourinho stay on and worked under Louis van Gaal for another four years.

But then, eight years later, things really started to turn sour between the two men when Guardiola was given the top job at Barcelona.

Mourinho had reportedly thrown his hat into the ring with an impressive power point presentation to Txiki Begiristain and vice-president Marc Ingla.

But they are said to have been concerned about any conflict his temperament might lead to and opted for Guardiola instead.

Two years later the Spurs boss would exact his revenge when the club he was in charge of, Inter Milan, came up against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Barça travelled to Milan by bus following the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull and lost 3-1.

When Milan's midfielder, Thiago Motta, was sent off in the first half of the return trip, Mourinho warned Guardiola "don’t think you’ve won yet".

Inter managed to make it through to the final and an ecstatic Mourinho raced onto the pitch.

The following year, when Mourinho has moved to Barcelona's great rivals, Madrid, things get really heated between the pair when they play each other.

When Madrid were victorious in the Copa del Rey final Guardiola takes issue with an off-side call that had been correct.

He was instantly ridiculed by Mourinho, which infuriated his rival.

In the press room before the Champions League semi-final, Guardiola asked which camera was Mourinho’s before looking straight into it and saying "in this room, Mourinho is the f***ing chief, the f***ing boss. I don’t want to compete with him in here… but this is a game of football".

It's been reported Guardiola's Barcelona players gave him a standing ovation when he returned to the team hotel.

After Barcelona beat their rivals, Mourinho comes up with his first bizarre conspiracy theory about Guardiola.

He said in a press conference: "Deep down, if they are good people, it cannot taste right for them. I hope that one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal."

By 2013, Mourinho was back at Chelsea and Guardiola had left Barcelona for Bayern Munich.

Despite managing teams in different countries the two men would be thrown together once again when they met in the UEFA Super Cup.

Ramires was sent off and Bayern emerged winners – which prompted Mourinho's second bizarre conspiracy theory.

He said: "Every time I play Pep I end up with 10 menIt must be some sort of UEFA rule."

The following year, Mourinho came up with his most outlandish conspiracy theory yet – why Guardiola was bald.

After arguing about what length grass on the pitch should be at the UEFA forum for leading coaches – with neither agreeing – the two men had barbed digs at each other.

Mourinho said: "Everyone has his style of play, which should be respected. Football can be spectacular in several ways."

Guardiola came back with: "The beauty of football depends on the coach. It seems to me that Mourinho prefers the result to the spectacle."

Mourinho then reportedly said: "When you enjoy what you do, you don’t lose your hair, and Guardiola is bald. He doesn’t enjoy football."

Relations certainly didn't thaw when the two men once again managed rival clubs in the same city with Guardiola boss at Manchester City and Mourinho at Manchester United.

And while they are no longer working just miles apart, they're both still competing for the upper hand in the Premier League.

This season, Guardiola has the upper hand with City finishing fourth whiel Tottenham ended their run sixth.

But who knows what next year will bring…

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