Jose Mourinho has the utmost respect for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich but insists they were not friends during his two stints as manager at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho takes his Manchester United side to London on Sunday, his first return to Stamford Bridge after being sacked by Abramovich in December 2015, just seven months after leading the club to the Premier League title.
It was the second time he had left Chelsea after a three-year spell came to an abrupt end in 2007 with reports suggesting it was the result of a falling out with the club’s billionaire owner.
The Portuguese was eager to stress he held Abramovich in high regard but refused the offer to call him a friend.
He told Sky Sports: “No, but we always had that kind of relationship. He was the owner and I respected him like that. I was the coach and I was respected like that.
“We were never close friends.
“If I went to his house it was for a professional meeting. We never shared anything personal. We were not friends, maybe because I was respectful for the position of the owner. Maybe because I showed him respect I didn’t have problems but we were not close.”
Asked what he would do if he bumped into the Russian at Stamford Bridge, he added: “I will shake his hand, I will ask if his kids are fine.
“I know some of them and I like them, they are very polite, respectful and humble. If I have that chance it will be normal.”
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