Jose Mourinho says he will “salute” Iker Casillas when his Chelsea side face Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Much of the pre-game talk has centred around Mourinho’s relationship with the Spain goalkeeper during their time at Real Madrid, with the Portuguese coach having dropped the club icon in favour of Diego Lopez.
Casillas’ standing at Madrid never fully recovered following Mourinho’s exit and he completed a transfer to Porto during the transfer window, where he has enjoyed a promising start.
“I know what you’re going to ask,” Mourinho said as a Spanish reporter began to question him. “I’m going to greet him before or after the game tomorrow. I’ll salute him, of course. No more questions about it.”
Striker Diego Costa is set to return to the Chelsea side after missing the draw with Newcastle United through suspension, and Mourinho has again alleged a “campaign” against his centre-forward.
“I’m glad we don’t have 11 Diego Costas in the team because the desire to suspend him would be so big,” he said.
Chelsea started their Champions League campaign with a convincing win over Maccabi Tel Aviv but their domestic form has prompted suggestions that Mourinho could wield the axe on his starting XI on Tuesday.
And the former Inter boss concedes that none of his players can consider their places completely safe.
“To be untouchable you have to be consistent. Right now, we have fantastic players but football is about today, not yesterday,” he said.
“You can win matches by playing well for 45 minutes, but normally you have to play better for more than 45 minutes.”
Mourinho is expecting a difficult test against his old side, however, with Porto unbeaten at the top of the table so far in their domestic league.
“It’s emotional. You realise you were part of something special. It makes the heart soft,” he said of his return to the Estadio do Dragao and the tributes to his successes.
“The fact that Porto are top of the league is totally normal. They have quality in their squad.
“Away games are always difficult, they are a big side and want to win, but Porto know they will not face a weak team in Chelsea.”