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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."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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