Roberto Mancini claims he and Jose Mourinho are not friends and suggests that is the way the Chelsea manager likes it.
The Italian stoked the flames ahead of Galatasaray’s UEFA Champions League first-leg tie with Chelsea last month by suggesting that he built the Inter team that won the treble under Mourinho in 2009-10.
But the former Manchester City boss insisted that they were fair comments and that Mourinho took them to heart as Chelsea and Mancini’s Galatasaray prepare to clash again in the return game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday with the last-16 tie finely balanced at 1-1.
“I said some perfectly normal things,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.
“But someone stirred it up into controversy and he really did get offended.
“In Istanbul we saw each other and only said ‘hello’. We certainly aren’t friends.
“I don’t think Mourinho wants to have friends, or maybe that’s just the way he likes to appear.”
Mancini was more complimentary about Antonio Conte’s Juventus side, saying that the runaway Serie A leaders evoked memories of the Inter team he was in charge of between 2004 and 2008.
“I think Juventus can reach 100 points (this season),” he said. “We nearly did it seven years ago with Inter.
“This Juve really reminds me of our Inter, as we were just too strong for the rest.
“We had Patrick Vieira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Julio Cesar and Douglas Maicon, who I had sought out, then Hernan Crespo, Luis Figo, Dejan Stankovic.
“Juve have the best players, but that’s not enough to win, as you need the right attitude. In that sense, Conte did a great job.”