As one of the most fiery and bombastic managers of the modern era, Jose Mourinho brings with him a certain cult-like following. A coach who is so open to telling people where to go and how things should be done the way he demands has become a common talking point in his career. As success has dried up after his spell at Manchester United, though, some believe that the Portuguese is beginning to see his star wane. However, a chance to renew acquaintances with Internazionale this weekend could bring out the best in the coach.
Since arriving in Rome, the new coach has been on a charm offensive with the city and its fans. However, a former player of his at Inter – Marco Materazzi – has been keen to remind his old coach of his previous opinions on AS Roma. The club that has given Mourinho another shot at success in Italy might be surprised to find out that, once upon a time, they got on his nerves.
When in charge of Inter, Roma were arguably the main rival that Mourinho faced off against domestically. He had some close calls, too, including a late, late title win when the Scudetto looked like it could be heading back to Rome.
What did Marco Materazzi say about Jose Mourinho?
In a recent interview with Italian publication La Gazzetta delio Sport, the former Italian international remarked of Mourinho: He is the same as always, he hasn’t changed. He is working in a different and exciting environment. We are opponents, but, deep down, we all support him. Now Roma is in his heart.”
The chance to take on his old team at his new home will likely be a challenging one for Mourinho given how much success he enjoyed in Italy with the Nerazzurri. However, his former charge was clear that Mourinho would not be worried, adding:
“He will have sweet memories until the kick-off, but then it will be battle on the pitch.”
However, he also felt compelled to drop in a little truth bomb for Mourinho to contend with. As he speaks up his new team at every opportunity, Materazzi was keen to remind everyone of his mood prior to a 2010 cup final against Roma, saying:
“It was before the Coppa Italia Final [between Inter and Roma] at the Stadio Olimpico in 2010. The Roma anthem was played before kick-off and he was mad about it. He was motivating us with his mind games and he had built a team stronger than adversities.”
When asked about what he felt had to change for Roma to truly compete at the top of the Italian game again, the World Cup winner added:
“There is a difference between Roma and Inter now. Inzaghi’s team has more depth, while Roma need four or five new signings, I thought the same before Mourinho arrived.”
Lastly, he was asked what he felt about Mourinho and what he would tell his former coach about playing against the team he achieved so much with. He conclude by saying: “Remember that you play against your team, so no funny business!”