Football: Mourinho hits back over Iniesta criticism

LONDON (AFP) - Newly reinstalled Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Monday hit back at Andres Iniesta after the Barcelona midfielder claimed he "damaged Spanish football" during his time as Real Madrid coach.

Mourinho was a controversial figure during his three-year tenure at Madrid, regularly launching barbs at Barcelona and notoriously jabbing then assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye during a 2011 encounter between the sides.

His behaviour threatened to overshadow his achievements, which included a Spanish Cup success over Barca in 2011 and a record-breaking triumph in the 2011-12 Liga campaign.

It also prompted Iniesta to claim that Mourinho would not be missed after he agreed to return to Chelsea, but the Portuguese coach said the Spanish midfielder's remarks represented sour grapes.

"I damaged Spanish football by being the manager that broke the Barcelona dominance," Mourinho said during his official unveiling as Chelsea manager.

"They were dominant and dominant and dominant, and it looked like dominance without end.

"But Real Madrid won the cup final against Barcelona, the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona, won in Barcelona, and Real Madrid won the historical championship of 100 points and 121 goals. So I hurt them."

Mourinho has signed a four-year contract at Chelsea, where he enjoyed major success in an initial spell between 2004 and 2007.

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