Galatasaray v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho rekindles feud with Roberto Mancini by claiming the Italian left him a 'five-a-side team' at Inter Milan

Rivalry rekindled ahead of Champions League clash as 'Special One' takes exception to claims Italian built his 2010 European Cup winning side

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Jose Mourinho stoked up the animosity between himself and Roberto Mancini when he dismissed the suggestion that the Italian built his 2010 Internazionale Champions League-winning side, claiming that he was left a "five-a-side team".

The Chelsea manager faces Mancini's Galatasaray in the Champions League last 16 in Istanbul, with the two men at loggerheads again. Their differences go back to the time when Mourinho succeeded Mancini at Inter in 2008 and continued when the Italian claimed this week that he was partly responsible for the club's 2010 Champions League victory.

Mancini said: "Mourinho won the Champions League because he took a good team. He took a team that, like Manchester City, I had built. A team that had a strong mentality. When I went to Inter, they played very bad football and we changed this."

Mourinho responded by pointing out that the majority of the team that won the final against Bayern Munich were players he brought to the club. When told of Mancini's remarks, Mourinho said: "It's funny, it's funny. It's funny because my team in the final had Lucio, Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o, Goran Pandev and Wesley Sneijder. From 11 players, he didn't work with six of them. So he made a five-a-side team because I played with only five players from his team."

 

Mancini also dismissed the theory advanced by Mourinho that his Chelsea team is still a "young" side which is not yet in a position to win the major competitions, saying that if that was the case his Galatasaray team must be a young side too. "I think that Chelsea are on top in the Premier League because they are a top team," he said. "They have really good players. Players who can change the game at any moment. Fantastic players who are used to playing games like this. I think they are 80 per cent to go through.

Read more: All Mancini left at Inter Milan was a five-a-side team - Mourinho
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Match preview
Chelsea fan stabbed in Istanbul

"Everyone knows Chelsea are one of the best teams in Europe. They won the Europa League last year and the Champions League the year before, so they're used to playing these games every year. For us, it will be very difficult. But we want to try and do a good job because we play at home and we want to have another good two weeks knowing we can still get through."

Mourinho said that his team were still recovering from what he classed as the failures of last season under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez, when Chelsea were eliminated in the group phase but went on to win the Europa League.

Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho share a joke during a 2012 Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City (Getty) Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho share a joke during a 2012 Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City (Getty)
He said: "Last year they were knocked out in the group phase, so it's not two years going all the way. The Europa League comes as a consequence of being eliminated in the group phase.

"I don't consider last year as a successful year because our competition is the Champions League. Last year was our worst year because it's the only time Chelsea was knocked out in the group phase.

"We have already done better by qualifying through the group phase but what we did is normal, it's nothing special, nothing outstanding. We did what we had to do in a group which was not one of the strongest. We did our job.

"We are not favourites, that's obvious. But I think when a team reaches the quarter-final, I think anything is possible. So I think this round is a very important round for every team. The ones who reach the quarter-final can start having a little feeling of having arrived there, even if you're not a favourite.

"Chelsea won it when they were not the favourites. I won it twice when I was not favourite. I didn't win it when my team were one of the favourites to win it.

"This competition, because of the knockout, has a bit of a space for a surprise. But it's clear that there are at least three, maybe more, four or five teams who are, by quality, experience and status, obviously favourites."

* A Chelsea fan in Istanbul has suffered minor injuries in what was described as an altercation.

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