Football

Mancini starts war of words with Mourinho

The two managers lock horns in tonight's Chapions League tie (©GettyImages)
The two managers lock horns in tonight's Chapions League tie (©GettyImages).

Roberto Mancini has reignited his war of words with Jose Mourinho, by claiming the Portuguese manager only won the Champions League thanks to him.

The two managers will be locked in a battle of wits when their two sides face each other in the last-16 of the Champions League tomorrow.

And Mancini has turned up the heat, suggesting Mourinho only succeeded in Italy thanks to him. Jose Mourinho took charge of Inter a year after Mancini's departure, winning the Treble during his two year spell.

“Mourinho won the Champions League (right) because he took a good team," Mancini told the Evening Standard.

"He took a team that, like Manchester City, I had built. A team that had a strong mentality. When I went to Inter, they played very bad football and we changed this.

“To win a Champions League you should be lucky. Champions League is a difficult competition but a strange one. Strange because you can win your group in October, November, December and, after maybe February [in the knock-out stages], everything can change.”

Mancini may have been sacked from Manchester City for his failure to progress from the Champions League group stages, but the Italian manager has proved himself in Turkey, taking Galatasaray to the knock-out stages of the competition.

Mancini though feels he left a lasting impression in Manchester:

"I changed [football] history in Manchester. I changed Manchester City history on the pitch. Those first two years in Manchester were very difficult. You needed to work hard. I took a team that didn’t win for a long time and, in three years, I changed their mentality.

"City became a winning team and started to win at home, win away.When we won the championship, we won all the games at home, only one draw against Sunderland. We won in Manchester against United easy, 6-1.

"For two years, we were the best team in the Premier League. All these top players that are in City now I bought: Nasri, Yaya, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.”

Mancini will be turning his attention to tomorrow's clash with Chelsea, and is pessimistic about his side's chances: 

"We don't have a lot of chance even at home because Chelsea are better, one of the best teams in Europe. But for Galatasaray to just play Chelsea is an important moment and we need to do a good job."

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