“So, you won the Champions League and you were sacked…”
“You get right to the point.”
It didn’t take long for the press to remind Roberto di Matteo of that night, or indeed that cold morning in Cobham when he was given his marching orders, a mere six months after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas.
It took even less for Jose Mourinho to fire one of his traditional broadsides.
“The Champions League, many, many times I say, is not a consequence of a great work,” the Portuguese manager told reporters. “Sometimes it is not. You can win the Champions League in the worst season. You can finish fifth and win the Champions League… Liverpool did, and Chelsea, too.”
These statements are obviously a classic Jose mind game, but they go further than that. The Champions League may be hard to predict, but this does not explain why, say, Chelsea won it all in 2012 with a depleted squad and why they didn’t in 2005. This kind of comment has a lot to do with the Portuguese’s hurt pride than he would like to admit.
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