Wednesday 13 December 2017

Absence makes Jose grow fonder of Wenger

London Daily Telegraph

Jose Mourinho has revealed his new-found respect for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Chelsea manager and the Frenchman endured a difficult relationship during the Mourinho's first stint at Stamford Bridge, when he infamously called his Gunners counterpart "a voyeur" for commenting on his rivals.

However, Mourinho told how a series of chance meetings following his 2007 Chelsea departure led the two men to form an unlikely friendship.

"I started meeting him in UEFA, at the Euros (European Championships), the World Cup, we had dinner and so on," the Portuguese said. "And when you are not in the same league and not playing against each other, it is easier to know people, it is easier to go deeper. It is easy to speak about football, he's a very nice guy.

"I respect him a lot and I will show my respect always. (In) football sometimes even if you are friends and respect each other, you say something the other doesn't like and you react.

"But at the end of the day I respect him a lot and I have the feeling that he is the same in relation to me. I wouldn't bet on one single problem between us."

Mourinho also claimed he never doubted the intentions of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. "There was always the question, 'When is he going to sell it?' 'Is he in love with the club?' 'Is he in love with football?' 'Is he doing this for the right reasons?'" Mourinho said.

"Roman was always going for more, always going for the future. He said, 'If we can build 15 pitches here, why build only four?'

"We said: 'Because four is what we need now'. He said: 'No, no, if we can build 14 or 15, then do it for the future, for the kids... So the academy has the same conditions as the first team'." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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