A poke in the eye, ´the f****** master´ & countless title-deciders: Five of the best Mourinho v Guar
Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will once again lock horns next season, after Manchester United confirmed the appointment of the Portuguese as their new manager on XXX.
Guardiola will be stationed a few short miles away at Manchester City, with two of world football’s most influential coaches set to resume their infamous rivalry.
Here we look at five of the feistiest meetings between Jose and Pep to whet the appetite ahead of their resumption of battle.
Barcelona 1-0 Inter - April 28 2010 (Champions League semi-final)
Mourinho was at his obdurate best to get the better of Camp Nou’s “Translator” jibes and knock Barca out of Europe on the way to an historic treble with Inter.
Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito had given Inter a 3-1 first-leg lead to protect, with Mourinho displaying little intention of building on it when he replaced Goran Pandev with Cristian Chivu after the pre-match warm-up.
Thiago Motta was harshly sent off in the 28th minute, but a rigid, at times nine-man, defensive line kept Barca at bay and Julio Cesar was at his best on the rare occasions the Inter defence was breached.
Gerard Pique danced his way to a goal with six minutes remaining as Barca finally wore Inter down, but Bojan Krkic had an effort disallowed in stoppage time, allowing Mourinho his moment in the spotlight - streaking across the Camp Nou turf to simultaneously hail the Italian fans and rub the home crowd’s nose in his success.
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid - November 29 2010 (La Liga)
Just seven months after Mourinho had prevented him from winning a major trophy, Guardiola exacted revenge in breathtaking fashion to hand his rival a first defeat as Madrid boss.
Lionel Messi was inspirational as goals from Xavi, Pedro, Jeffren and a David Villa double capped arguably the greatest single performance in club football history.
As Guardiola revelled in a near-perfect display, Mourinho could not resist stirring the pot.
“What’s difficult to swallow is when you lose a game because you have hit the post or the referee has been bad. I have left here in that state before with Chelsea and Inter Milan but that was not the case tonight.”
Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona - April 27 2011 (Champions League semi-final)
Another season of brutal tension between the Clasico rivals drove Guardiola to despair ahead of his second Champions league semi-final against the ‘Special One’.
Before inviting reporters’ questions at his pre-match news conference, Guardiola barked: “Outside of the field, he has won the entire year, the entire season and in the future [it will be the same]. He can have his personal Champions League outside the field. Fine.
“In this room [Real Madrid’s press room], he is the chief, the f***ing boss. In here he is the f****** master and I can’t compete with him. If Barcelona want someone who competes with that, then they should look for another manager.”
Perhaps it was more calculated than initially given credit for, as another two-goal Messi show stunned the Bernabeu and set Barca up for another Champions League final, which they won against Manchester United.
Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid - August 17 2011 (Supercopa de Espana)
Andres Iniesta’s goal and two from Messi ensured Barca would begin the 2011-12 season with silverware, but the game was drastically overshadowed by Mourinho’s sideline antics.
As became the norm, particularly during the Mourinho-Guardiola Clasicos, tempers flared at the end of the game after Marcelo crudely tackled Cesc Fabregas.
With players and coaches alike embroiled in the melee, Mourinho walked behind Guardiola’s right-hand man Tito Vilanova and poked him in the eye.
When asked about the incident post-match, Mourinho replied: “I don’t know who Pito Vilanova is” - almost certainly aware he had referenced a colloquial Spanish term for the male genitalia in an unconvincing denial of his guilt.
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid - April 21 2012 (La Liga)
There was far less of the acrimony the last time Mourinho and Guardiola pitted their wits against each other, though it was no less significant.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the winner as Madrid silenced Camp Nou to effectively seal the Liga title that Barca had previously dominated under Pep.
It was perhaps the final straw for Guardiola, who would take a year away from the game at the end of the season, exhausted from his battles, despite bringing 14 titles to Catalonia.
Only five editions of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League were not won by Guardiola during his Camp Nou reign - Mourinho won three of those, this title success adding to his 2010 European and 2011 Copa del Rey triumphs with Inter and Madrid respectively, accounting for Barca on the way.
Though the likes of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino will have designs on success in 2016-17, Guardiola v Mourinho is the one battle that is guaranteed to have the eyes of the world watching the Premier League this season.