Football: Mourinho fires back at Benitez's wife

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho brushed off criticism from the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho brushed off criticism from the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho fired back on Tuesday at comments from the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez, who said her husband is "tidying up" Mourinho's "messes" once again.

Montserrat Seara told Le Region newspaper that her Spanish husband has had to clean up after Mourinho in three stops where he has followed the Portuguese coach, at Inter Milan and Chelsea as well as Spanish La Liga giants Real.

After Chelsea beat Barcelona 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw in regular time, Mourinho, 52, noted that only in the Inter case did Benitez directly follow him into the job of guiding the squad.

"The lady is a bit confused," Mourinho said, drawing laughs from reporters but noting for himself, "I am not laughing."

Mourinho, now in his second stint guiding English Premier League champions Chelsea, said that when Benitez, 55, did follow him at Italian club Inter, "in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time".

Benitez took over the Serie A side immediately after they won the Champions League under Mourinho but was sacked months later midway through the next season.

And Mourinho had some advice for Seara.

"She needs to occupy her time," he said. "If she takes care of her husband's diet, she will not have any time to talk about me."