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Saturday 21 October 2017

Mourinho hits back at Iniesta claim that he "damaged" Spanish football

Newly reappointed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during a news conference at Stamford Bridge stadium today
Newly reappointed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during a news conference at Stamford Bridge stadium today

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Andres Iniesta after the Barcelona midfielder claimed that he "damaged" Spanish football.

The former Real Madrid boss gave his first press conference since being unveiled as Chelsea manager today following a contentious three-season spell at the Bernabeu.

Mourinho's spell in the capital was littered with controversy including rows with the press, his own players and an unsavoury incident where he poked then Barcelona assistant coach Tito Villanova in the eye.

It is due to these incidents that many would say the Portuguese left the Madrid under a cloud and Iniesta told El Pais: "He damaged Spanish football, in general more harm than good."

Real won the Primera Division with a record points tally in his second year in Spain but Barcelona were champions either side of that triumph and Pep Guardiola also guided the Catalan giants to the Champions League title in 2011.

In total Mourinho won three trophies in Spain with Barca claiming seven in the same time period but the 50-year-old still believes Iniesta's comment was the result of sour grapes.

"I damaged Spanish football by being the manager that broke Barcelona dominance," he said.

"They were dominant and dominant and dominant and it looked like it was a dominance without an end

"Real Madrid won the Cup final against Barcelona, Real Madrid win the Super Cup against Barcelona, Real Madrid won in Barcelona and Real Madrid won the championship which is the historical championship of 100 points and 121 goals."

Mourinho also guided Real to the Champions League semi-finals in all three of his seasons in charge and, while he failed to land the ultimate prize, the former Inter Milan boss is proud of his tenure.

"We couldn't get the Champions League which was an ambition but it's very difficult to do it," he added.

"You never know when you are going to do and it's so difficult at Madrid that before I arrived they couldn't reach not even the quarter final for six years.

"We got into the semis, we couldn't win it.

"Other teams did it, I'm happy Chelsea did it, I'm happy Bayern did it because they deserve it after such a fantastic season.

"I can say with pride that I managed a big club like Real."

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