"We tidy up his messes. If you think about it, of course you end up crossing paths. There are only a few world-class clubs out there."
This comment by Rafael Benitez's wife Montserrat Seara, when talking about her husband's passion for football, were surely light-hearted and she was just trying to make a joke.
Rafa Benitez recently took charge as the Real Madrid manager, the third time he has taken over a club that Mourinho was previously the manager of - the other two being Chelsea and Inter Milan.
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Benitez and Mourinho have never had a very friendly relationship, particularly after the 2005 Champions' League semi-final, when Luis Garcia from Benitez's Liverpool scored a debatable goal against Mourinho's Chelsea to send them to the final.
His latest attack on Benitez in response to his wife's comments about him however, has to be his worst. Clearly infuriated at having had a joke made at his expense, he made shocking and insulting comments about Benitez and his wife.
Mourinho was out of order
"The only club where her husband replaces me was at Inter Milan, where in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time," the Portuguese coach retaliated. "And for her also to think about me and to speak about me, I think the lady needs to occupy her time. And if she takes care of her husband's diet, she will have less time to speak about me."
Mourinho had every right to point out that Benitez created a mess of the Inter Milan squad that he had inherited from Mourinho rather than "tidying up his mess".
The rest, however, is incredibly rude and shows a lack of respect. There was never any mention of Mourinho's physical appearance and there was no need to venture into that territory. As a manager, it is fine commenting on another person's managerial skills if yours are brought into question, but making fun of someone's weight and suggesting that their wife has nothing to do in her free time shows a lack of integrity.
More than just mind-games
Over the years, Mourinho has managed to annoy and anger many other managers with his comments and remarks, Arsene Wenger being one of his favourite victims.
Considering that he always goes out of his way to attack rival mangers during his press conferences - intentionally mispronouncing their name, poking fun at them - it is strange that he has taken such offence at a casual, light-hearted remark about him. His hypocrisy is clear for all to see, and Benitez rightly chose not to respond to Mourinho's latest remarks.
Some will say that he is not trying to make friends, but is trying to win. Perhaps, as Arsene Wenger has said, he does have "fear to fail" and will resort to any means to win.
But considering the chances of playing Benitez's Real Madrid in the Champions' League are not very high, Mourinho could not just have made so harsh a comment only for the slim possibility of him playing Benitez's Real Madrid in the Champions' League.
Perhaps it is time to stop interpreting Mourinho's condescending remarks as "mind games" and realise them for what they really are
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