Monday 24 October 2016

'Rafa's wife should focus on his diet'

Mourinho blasts back after comments made by Benitez's spouse

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has responded to comments made by the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has responded to comments made by the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Rafael Benitez's wife - with a remarkable jibe about his rival manager's weight.

Montserrat Seara had claimed in Spanish newspaper La Region that her husband "tidied up the mess" left behind by Mourinho after Benitez took over at Real Madrid this summer - the third time he had joined a club previously managed by the Chelsea boss.

However, speaking after the Blues' pre-season friendly victory over Barcelona in Washington DC, Mourinho pointedly told Mrs Benitez she should concentrate on the Spaniard's diet.

He also claimed Benitez "destroyed" his treble-winning Inter Milan side in 2010, while pointing out the former Liverpool boss had not directly succeeded him at Chelsea or Real.

"The lady is a bit confused," Mourinho said, quoted by several national newspapers.

"Her husband went to Chelsea to replace Roberto Di Matteo and he went to Real Madrid and replaced Carlo Ancelotti.

"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.


"For her also to think about me and to speak about me, I think she needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband's diet she will have less time to speak about me."

The relationship between the managers has been tense following a series of fall-outs during Mourinho's first spell in charge of Chelsea, when Benitez was at Anfield.

Chelsea finished their pre-season tour of North America by defeating European champions Barcelona 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw over 90 minutes.

The Blues converted all four of their spot-kicks in the International Champions Cup match but the Spanish giants were left to rue Alen Halilovic's chip which came back off the bar and Thibaut Courtois saving from Gerard Pique.

It was an excellent end to the tour for Jose Mourinho's men, who went ahead through Eden Hazard's early strike only for Barca to turn the tide through second-half goals from Luis Suarez and Sandro Ramirez although Gary Cahill headed home four minutes from time to send the game straight to penalties. Hazard gave the near 80,000 fans in attendance reason for cheer at the FedEx Field, Washington's NFL stadium, when he put Chelsea ahead after 10 minutes.

The Belgian collected the ball in Barca's half before shrugging off several challenges and poking past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Ivan Rakitic nearly drew Barca level almost immediately but saw a strike palmed over the bar by Courtois, while at the other end Oscar's strike came back off the woodwork.

Chelsea took their narrow lead into the interval but were pegged back six minutes into the resumption, Suarez scooping over Courtois, with Kurt Zouma clearing after the ball had already crossed the line.

Barca took the lead in the 62nd minute after Sandro cut inside and fired past Courtois.

However, Cahill bravely levelled in the 86th minute, leaping highest to head home from Willian's floated free-kick, with the England defender receiving a bloody nose from Barca substitute custodian Jordi Masip for his troubles.

That took the game to spot-kicks, where Radamel Falcao, Victor Moses, Ramires and Loic Remy were all on-target to give the Blues a confidence boosting win ahead of Sunday's Community Shield meeting with FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley.

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