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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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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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