Jose Mourinho has congratulated Leicester City’s players, owners, fans and staff - yes, including Claudio Ranieri - after the Foxes were crowned Premier League champions on Monday night.
The Portuguese coach, who has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in December, released a short statement via CAA Sports UK.
Leicester won the title following the ill-tempered 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge - and, like everybody else, Mourinho was left stunned after Ranieri’s side had pulled off their unprecedented achievement.
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"I want to congratulate everyone connected to @LCFC; players, staff, owners and fans,” Mourinho was quoted as saying.
“I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career."
Mourinho and Ranieri have history...
Back in 2008, Mourinho made headlines after mocking Ranieri’s lack of success.
Ranieri antagonised the fiery Portuguese tactician after telling reporters: "I am not like Mourinho. I don't have to win things to be sure of myself."
But Mourinho, not one to let things lie, bit back with this famous cutting response.
“Ranieri? I guess he’s right with what he said I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things,” the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. “This is why I have won so many trophies in my career.
“Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn’t need to win. He is almost 70 years old. He has won a Supercup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality.
“He’s old and he hasn’t won anything. I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.'"
Ranieri, who managed Chelsea between 2000 and 2004, will now see his players receive a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge on the final weekend of the Premier League season.
Ranieri v Mourinho next season?
As for Mourinho, it’s still unclear whether he will be competing against his old foes Ranieri, Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger next season.
While some sources are convinced the 53-year-old will become the manager of Manchester United this summer, others appear to be confident that Louis van Gaal will see out the final year of his three-year contract at Old Trafford.
Does Claudio Ranieri’s achievement with Leicester City surpass anything managed by Jose Mourinho? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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