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Jose Mourinho: 'Roberto Mancini left me a 5-a-side team at Inter Milan'

Updated: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 12:12 | Comments

Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini have renewed their war of words
Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini have renewed their war of words

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Jose Mourinho has hit back at Galatasaray boss Roberto Mancini, claiming he inherited a "five-a-side team" from the Italian at Inter Milan.

The Portuguese succeeded Mancini at Inter, leading them to the Champions League crown during a treble-winning season in 2010.

Former Manchester City manager Mancini claimed some of the credit for that ahead of his side's Champions League clash with Chelsea tonight, resulting in Mourinho hitting back - and while he incorrectly added Thiago Motta to his line-up, the point still stood.

"It's funny, it's funny," he said. "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."

Mourinho will also attempt to thwart Chelsea fans' favourite Didier Drogba, having spent much of the build-up to the last-16 tie explaining comments about his own strikers.

The 35-year-old left for pastures new in 2012 with his place in club folklore assured, having slotted home the penalty which won Chelsea their first ever Champions League.

The competition now offers the Ivorian the chance to face the Blues for the first time since leaving.

"To face Drogba, I know that is difficult and it's a strange feeling, I have to admit that," Mourinho said ahead of facing the player he managed between 2004 and 2007.

"But we have to do our job. We know he wants to do his job.

"Last year it happened the same. I want to do my job to help my team, and he tried to do his by scoring goals, which he did.

"But I admit it's a strange feeling we have to try and forget during the game."

"To face Drogba, I know that is difficult and it's a strange feeling, I have to admit that." - Jose Mourinho

It may be odd but it will be a welcome return to football after having to field questions about inflammatory comments made to a businessman at a recent sponsor's event.

Footage of the private conversation was recorded by Canal Plus, in which Mourinho said: "The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker. He is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?"

Mourinho was apoplectic about the remarks being broadcast.

Away from the football, there were reports of trouble in Istanbul on Tuesday evening.

Initial reports were of an altercation between locals and Chelsea fans near Taksim Square, resulting in minor injuries being sustained but nobody left requiring hospital treatment.

However, later news filtered through that there had been two stabbings.

Live television coverage of Galatasaray v Chelsea from 19:30 on Wednesday 26 February on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (RoI only).

Live radio coverage on Game On on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (RoI only) from 19:00.

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