Jose Mourinho was surprised Chelsea appointed Rafa Benitez.

Jose Mourinho sent a four-word email after Chelsea hired Rafa Benitez in 2012

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Jose Mourinho time at Real Madrid was yet another eventful stage in his managerial career.

He poked Tito Vilanova in the eye. He forced club legend Iker Casillas out of the club. He was fined €40,000 for telling Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get themselves sent off in a Champions League game.

You can’t say he’s not entertaining.

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In his three years at the Santiago Bernabeu, Mourinho won the La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Given that Madrid target three trophies each season, the Portuguese’s return left a lot to be desired.

While Mourinho was managing a Madrid side that he reportedly felt was filled with players more interested in themselves than the team, his former club, Chelsea, were in a similarly difficult situation.

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It was November 2012 and the Blues had just sacked Roberto Di Matteo after just eight months in charge.

The Italian won the Champions League and FA Cup during his brief stint at the club but a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League saw his run cut short.

Mourinho's reaction to Benitez's hiring

Roman Abramovich turned to Rafa Benitez, appointing the Spaniard as interim Chelsea boss. He wasn’t a popular choice among fans and the appointment appeared to surprise Mourinho, too.

In a tell-all book about the Portuguese by journalist Rob Beasley, titled Jose Mourinho: Up Close And Personal, Beasley claims he received an email from Mourinho after news of Benitez’s arrival at Stamford Bridge broke.

“Even more astonishingly,” Beasley writes, per the Daily Mail, “Benitez also became interim manager of Chelsea in November 2012. When the news broke we were both stunned.

Jose’s message was on the money: ‘Fat rafa in cfc.’

“It’s fair to say he was not impressed.”

Community Shield: Liverpool v Chelsea

Long-running feud

Mourinho and Benitez’s feud stretched back to their days at Chelsea and Liverpool.

So to see Rafa at the club he enjoyed so much success at must have hurt.

Yet that didn’t prevent Mourinho from watching Chelsea under Benitez. And he hated what he saw.

“I watched every game of Chelsea against City in the last year,” Mourinho said in 2013, per Sky Sports. “I saw the game at Wembley, the game at home, the game at City, I saw even parts of the friendlies in the States.

"Mental. Not tactical. Nothing. Mental. Afraid to assume. Afraid to go. Afraid to say we want to win, we can win.”

Liverpool v Chelsea

Do you think Mourinho was jealous that Benitez got the Chelsea job? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Wayne Rooney
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Jose Mourinho

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