Jose Mourinho showed once again this week while he is the master of put-downs, coming out all guns blazing following recent remarks from former Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer.
The Dutchman had suggested Marcus Rashford was wasted under Mourinho’s guidance, only for the Manchester United boss to respond by labelling De Boer the worst manager in Premier League history.
Mourinho’s history in English football shows that this kind of reaction isn’t uncommon from the legendary Portuguese boss, prompting Sportsmail to take a look at his 10 best comeback quotes…
Jose Mourinho proved again that he is the quote king, following his Frank De Boer put-down
Lashing out at Rafa
Mourinho’s rivalry with Rafa Benitez is one of the most long-standing in European football.
The two managers have had intertwining careers and, when asked about Benitez taking over at his former club Inter Milan, Mourinho was less than complimentary about his counterpart and his wife’s comments.
‘The only club where her husband replaced me was at Inter Milan, where in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time. And for her also to think about me and to speak about me, I think the lady needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me.’
Throughout his career Mourinho has been involved in spats with his rival Rafa Benitez
Bust up with director Pietro Lo Monaco
During his time in Italy Mourinho didn’t shy away from clashing with the powers that be.
Catania sporting director Pietro Lo Monaco became embroiled in a public dispute with the manager, but was swiftly put in his place by Mourinho.
‘As for Lo Monaco, I do not know who he is. I have heard of Bayern Monaco (the Italian name for Bayern Munich) and the Monaco GP, the Tibetan Monaco (Monk), and the principality of Monaco. I’ve never heard of any others.’
Calling out Fergie
Upon defeating Sir Alex Ferguson’s famed United side in the Champions League with lowly Porto, Mourinho couldn’t resist making a jibe.
He would go on to win the European cup that season, and in doing so cement himself as the most in-demand manager on the continent.
‘I understand why he (Alex Ferguson) is a bit emotional. He has some of the top players in the world and they should be doing a lot better than that.
‘You would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10 per cent of the budget.’
Mourinho poked fun at Sir Alex Ferguson for being beaten by his Porto minnows in 2004
On leaving Chelsea and the fall of Scolari
Following Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge, Luiz Felipe Scolari didn’t last long in the job before being shown the door.
When asked for his response, Mourinho was very much typical Mourinho. Never one to be overly modest…
‘Why have Chelsea suffered so much since I left? Because I left.’
Wenger the voyeur
Along with Rafa, another boss Mourinho has taken issue with relentlessly has been Arsene Wenger.
The pair have never seen eye to eye and, when Wenger made one comment too many about his Chelsea side, Mourinho came out firing.
‘I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.’
The specialist in failure
Not content with likening Wenger to a voyeur, Mourinho went straight for the jugular with the Frenchman’s record of success.
Arsenal had been going through a barren patch, and Mourinho was quick and happy to pick up on it.
‘If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure. He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.’
Arsene Wenger’s challenging of Mourinho swiftly saw him labelled a ‘specialist in failure’
Pep the cheat
For several seasons La Liga was graced with the intensity of the regular Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola dual.
Two ultra competitive managers steering the ship of the country’s two biggest clubs. Fireworks were always a certainty.
After Barcelona defeated Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Mourinho unleashed his attack, neatly choosing his words so as to basically imply Guardiola was a cheat…
‘One day I would like Josep Guardiola to win this competition properly.
‘If I tell Uefa what I really think and feel, my career would end now. Instead I will just ask a question to which I hope one day to get a response: Why?’
Nothing for you, Mr Kelly
Mourinho’s post match interview with BT Sport broadcaster Des Kelly hit the headlines after he made it abundantly clear he had nothing to give.
Chelsea had just been beaten 3-1 by arch rivals Liverpool, and to say Mourinho was feeling petty is perhaps an understatement.
‘I have nothing, nothing to say. Nothing, nothing to say. Nothing to say, I have nothing to say. Nothing to say, I am so sorry, I have nothing to say.’
War with Conte
Mourinho’s battles with Antonio Conte will go down in Premier League folklore, even if the Italian spends only two seasons in England’s elite division before moving on.
Spicy words between the two were exchanged at fever pitch this season, leading Mourinho to poke fun at Conte’s hair transplant before going on to drop the bombshell of match-fixing allegations from his time in Serie A.
‘What never happened to me — and will never happen — is to be suspended for match-fixing. That never happened to me and will never happen.’
Mourinho and Antonio Conte’s spats are certain to go down in Premier League folklore
The unsuccessful Frank Rijkaard
Feathers were well and truly ruffled during Mourinho’s time in Spain, with plenty of former players and managers keen to have a pop at the self-confident boss.
When former Barcelona chief Frank Rijkaard decided to challenge Mourinho the Portuguese wasn’t having any of it, issuing a short and sweet response.
‘My history as a manager cannot be compared with Frank Rijkaard’s history. He has zero trophies and I have a lot of them.’
A FEW HONOURABLE MENTIONS
Young players are just like… melons?
One criticism often aimed at Mourinho, and the same theme of which De Boer was touching upon, is his development of young players – or supposed lack thereof.
Mourinho defends his record of bringing through talent fiercely, but has on occasion referred to his youngsters as fruit…
‘Young players are like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good.’
The Newcastle United cow
Since his appointment at United, rival fans have frequently enjoyed taunting the club about the ‘Mourinho bus.’
It’s suggested Mourinho often ‘parks the bus’ to slow down the game and grind out unsavory wins… which made his comments following a hard-fought contest with Newcastle all the more ironic.
Mourinho was frustrated with the way his opponents blocked up the centre of the field to kill off the match, and decided to call upon some bizarre farmyard analogies.
‘You may as well put a cow in the middle of the pitch, walking. And then stop the game because there was a cow.’
The ‘ghost goal’ of Luis Garcia
If there is one moment in his managerial career which will haunt Mourinho, it’s this one.
Luis Garcia’s did-it-didn’t-it cross the line winner in the Champions League semi-finals of 2005 is something Mourinho has never got over. The Reds famously went on to win the competition that season in Istanbul.
Here’s what Mourinho thought: ‘You can say the linesman’s scored. It was a goal coming from the moon or from the Anfield Road stands.’
Injury crisis and Mourinho’s blanket
This was a bizarre one, yet exactly what we’ve come to expect from Mourinho.
His Chelsea side were struggling with a slew of injuries, leaving the Portuguese battling to field a strong side. As a result, Mourinho compared it all to a blanket…
‘It’s like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But the blanket is made of cashmere.’