Mourinho’s latest comments – which appear in the Telegraph - follow similar critical barbs that were fired towards the Chilean when the pair were managing Real Madrid and Malaga respectively.
Mourinho succeeded Pellegrini as Real Madrid manager after the Chilean’s sacking. Ahead of a match between the two sides, the Portuguese said, “second place is just the first loser. If Madrid were to fire me, I wouldn’t go to Malaga. I’d go to a top-level team in Italy or England.”
Quoted in the Telegraph, Mourinho was asked on Friday why he thought himself too good for a side like Malaga, “because I wouldn’t (take the Malaga job). Because I’m in a situation where I can choose. Some people can’t choose.”
Like former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea’s manager is well-versed in the art of psychologically undermining the opposition; individual players and managers are prime targets.
The two teams are set to meet in Sunday’s highlight Premier League fixture; the outcome of the match could indeed determine who wins the league title.
Mourinho later tried to dampen the potential backlash that his comments may provoke by saying that he had “no problem” with Manchester City’s manager.
Tomorrow’s game is expected to be an explosive affair; it is Pellegrini’s first real league test since the 4-1 demolition of cross-town rivals Manchester United. The winner will undoubtedly hold the bragging rights for future meetings.