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Angry Jose slams 'shameful' Italian football

At the end of a turbulent few days in which Jose Mourinho has suggested he is being rounded upon, the Inter Milan coach last night delivered a scathing attack on the Italian game.

The Portuguese coach has never been scared of speaking his mind and, while his open and honest misdemeanour may endear him to fans of the club he represents, those on the other side often struggle to accept his apparent arrogance.

Nobody appears less comfortable with his behaviour than the Italian Lega Calcio (Serie A) officials who, 48 hours before last night's Champions League tie with Chelsea, banned him for the next three Serie A matches due to a handcuff gesture he made in his side's 0-0 draw with Sampdoria.

Mourinho had kept quiet since the disclosure of his touchline ban and the Lega Calcio may have thought that would remain the case.

But he exploded last night to break his silence with a damning attack.

"I have recently heard a new term for my pathetic Italian," he said.

"I am told that we 'have to lower the tone'. Well, let's lower the tone.

"You Italians have created a story that I, as a professional in football, a person who earns his living in football, was terribly ashamed of. Your Calciopoli (2006 Italian football match-fixing scandal) was shameful. It ashamed me to feed my family with money earned in football."

Little did Mourinho know back in 2006 that he himself would end up earning his money directly from the Italian game. But he will not let his own integrity be affected.

"I entered Italy honestly and I will leave honestly," he said. "There was a penalty for Chelsea tonight."

The flamboyant Portuguese coach was referring to a foul on Salomon Kalou in first-half stoppage time which was missed by referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez.

Inter were therefore able to preserve their one-goal advantage at the interval and go on to seal a 2-1 win, putting them in the driving seat of this knockout-stage tie, but Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti refused to pin the blame on the referee.

"I know Mejuto Gonzalez is a good referee with experience," he said.

"I think there was a penalty in the first half, but a penalty is only when the referee whistles."

Ancelotti's return to the San Siro was not quite what he had hoped for.

"I am a (AC) Milan fan so, against Inter, it's always a derby," he added.

A 1-0 win will do for the Blues at Stamford Bridge on March 16.


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