Jose Mourinho SLAMS rival coach Maurizio Sarri for claims that Roma’s clash with Slavia Prague is a ‘friendly’, as he questions the ‘mentality’ of a coach ‘that has barely won anything’
- Jose Mourinho and Maurizio Sarri clashed over their Champions League fixtures
- The Roma boss lamented the ‘mentality’ of his fellow former Chelsea boss
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Jose Mourinho hit back at Maurizio Sarri’s claims that Roma’s match against Slavia Prague was a ‘friendly’, as he questioned the achievements of the Lazio boss.
Sarri, after his side’s victory over Feyenord on Tuesday, questioned the fixture scheduling prior to their highly-anticipated derby in Serie A on Sunday afternoon.
He said: ‘Roma can afford a friendly on Thursday and we played a war tonight, there is a fundamental difference’.
Clearly, the comments have not sat well with rival boss Mourinho, who has since questioned the ‘mentality’ of Sarri and suggested that he’s not ‘offended’.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Mourinho said: ‘I think that if someone ought to feel offended about that comment, it is Slavia Prague and not me.
Jose Mourinho (L) has hit back at Maurizio Sarri’s (R) claims that Roma were playing a ‘friendly’ in their European tie, whereas Lazio were ‘going to war’ for their Champions League clash
Mourinho then compared his impressive career achievements to that of the Lazio boss
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‘It is as if he said Slavia have no quality. I always respect my opponents. Perhaps this is the difference in a coach who has won 26 titles and another that has barely won anything: that kind of mentality.
‘Every game must be taken seriously, there are no friendlies. I would love to hear the reaction of the Lega Serie A, because that was an objective and direct criticism. So I wait.’
At club level, Sarri has won the Europa League with Chelsea, Serie A with Juventus and the Coppa Italia Serie D with Sansovino.
Comparatively, Mourinho – as he rightly pointed out – has won 26 titles across stints with Roma, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Porto, Inter Milan and Manchester United.
The feud began after Sarri lamented the fixture scheduling prior to the Derby della Capitale – with both sides separated by a point in the table.
In addition to his earlier comments, Sarri also said: ‘If you tell me if it’s intelligent to put the derby in the week in which we play in Europe I’ll tell you I don’t think it’s the height of intelligence on the part of the league.
‘It seems to me that it’s people from outside football who don’t realise what the derby is, it could have been done differently’.
Sarri’s Lazio side secured a 1-0 win over Feyenoord during Tuesday’s group stage encounter
The clash comes ahead of the highly-anticipated derby between Lazio and Roma on Sunday
This is certainly not the first time the two have clashed, with the managerial duo having a long-standing history of verbal disputes.
In August last year, Sarri highlighted the ‘big f****** difference’ between himself and Mourinho prior to the 2022-23 Serie A campaign.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Sarri said: ‘I like Mourinho. The differences depend mainly on the starting point, on our different origins.
‘I grew up among amateurs, people of another level. To win, I had to come up with good solutions to compensate for the limits of the individuals at my disposal.
‘Mourinho started at Barcelona and invested a lot in the quality of the players. There is a big f***ing difference between working at Stia and Barcelona.’
In 2018, when Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United and Sarri was the head coach of Chelsea, the two managers once again clashed on the sidelines.
Mourinho was at the centre of an extraordinary tunnel skirmish on his return to Stamford Bridge after his former club Chelsea scored a 96th-minute equaliser.
The United manager was incensed when Marco Ianni, an assistant coach to Sarri, celebrated by running on to the pitch and then clenched his fists in celebration close to Mourinho’s face, before heading down the tunnel.
Sarri once stated there is a ‘big f***ing difference’ between himself and Mourinho
Mourinho (bottom right) was once left stunned as Chelsea’s second assistant coach Marco Ianni, Sarri’s assistant at the time, celebrated in front of him
Mourinho leapt up and attempted to chase him down the tunnel and only the intervention of a steward prevented further confrontation, with referee Mike Dean, players and coaching staff then all gathering around the chaotic scene.
Afterwards, Sarri said: ‘I spoke with Jose after and realised we were wrong. I spoke with my staff and then agreed to speak to Mourinho and say sorry.
‘Now I think it’s finished. We made a mistake. We were in the wrong on the situation. I have to speak to Marco, I want to be sure he understands it was a big mistake.’
Mourinho said: ‘It was bad education but I also made mistakes in football matches and I will make more so, when after the game he came to me to apologise, I accepted his apology and nothing more to say.
‘Maurizio saw and Maurizio said he would take care of it internally and to accept his apologies which I did. But then the young fellow came and he also apologised and I told him: “I accept your apology. I also did mistakes, especially when I was your age, and try to improve”.’
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