Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Chelsea

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Veltins Arena

Last Game

Schalke 0 - 5 Chelsea

Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group G

Rafa questions Jose's attitude

Rafael Benitez has made a thinly-veiled criticism of Chelsea successor Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese's perceived win-at-all-costs approach.

Last Updated: 24/06/13 at 22:23 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Shakes hands Jose Mourinho after a previous meeting

Rafael Benitez: Shakes hands Jose Mourinho after a previous meeting

The Spaniard, who frequently crossed swords with the Portuguese while at Liverpool and during the self-titled 'Special One's' first spell at Stamford Bridge, seemed to suggest Mourinho lacked humility and crossed the line of what was acceptable in order to win.

The Napoli boss, who led Chelsea to the Europa League title and a Champions League return during a turbulent six-month spell which finished last month, made the comments in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS where his coaching style was compared to Mourinho's.

Benitez said: "I don't know what Mourinho does. I know what I do: I always want to win, without crossing the line of sportsmanship. It's true that I get on better with some coaches than others and I align myself with those that don't value winning at any cost."

Benitez, who came through the ranks at Real Madrid and played for and later coached their reserve side, Castilla, said that growing up at the Spanish giants helped him understand the values of sportsmanship.

During Mourinho's three-year tenure at Real, which ended at the end of last season when he left the club to return to Chelsea, the Portuguese was attacked by sections of the media for not adhering to these values.

Benitez continued: "I joined Madrid's academy when I was 13 and learned everything there. I received a sporting education from Madrid and I was taught to show respect and dignity towards the opponents whether we won or lost."

Benitez's final months at Stamford Bridge took place to the background of growing rumours that Mourinho was set to replace him at Chelsea, but the former Liverpool boss explained how he focused on finishing his time at the Blues in style by winning the Europa League.

"Everyone at Chelsea knew that Mourinho was going to come back at the end of the season," he admitted.

"But that didn't take away any of my ambition or willingness to achieve our objectives and we won the Europa League, which says a lot about the seamless commitment of that sensational team."

Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti is expected to succeed Mourinho at Real Madrid, and Benitez believes the former Chelsea and AC Milan boss, who he came face to face with in the Champions League finals of 2005 and 2007 with Liverpool, will be the perfect replacement for the Portuguese.

He said: "I know him well from Milan because of the finals in Athens and Istanbul and we had a very good relationship when we were both in the Premier League. I think it's the correct choice because he will be a conciliator in the dressing room and inside the club. I think the club will appreciate that change."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Champions League: Aguero treble stuns Bayern

Sergio Aguero's last-gasp heroics earned Manchester City a thrilling 3-2 win over 10-man Bayern Munich at the Etihad.

Champions League: Chelsea thrash Schalke 5-0 to cruise into Champions League knockout phase

Chelsea cruised into the knockout phase of the Champions League on Tuesday night with a convincing 5-0 win over Schalke.

Arsene Wenger has responded to criticism from Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits to being disappointed in criticism from shareholder Alisher Usmanov

Mail Box

Counter-Attacks: Making Me Fall In Love Again

There is a good deal of love for counter-attacking goals, plus some sympathy for Arsene Wenger, heaping the praise on Chunky Pardew too early and why Klopp > Rodgers...

There's Excitement In Toon Again...

We have mails on a young, vibrant Newcastle side along with the usual woe from those in the red of Liverpool and Arsenal. We just love having the Premier League back...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property