As Inter celebrate the anniversary of their treble-winning campaign in 2010, Jose Mourinho has looked back at an iconic moment against Barcelona.
The two European giants faced off in the semi-finals of the Champions League that year, with the Nerazzurri of course getting the better of their rivals which led to chaotic scenes after the full-time whistle as Mourinho celebrated on the pitch and risked a confrontation with several players including Victor Valdes.
After losing 3-1 in the first leg, Barcelona were unable to turn the tie around despite a late goal from Gerard Pique as Mourinho and the Nerazzurri produced a superb defensive performance even despite being reduced to 10 men.
That was a memorable moment in itself as Sergio Busquets famously was caught rolling on the floor before peeking through his hands to see if the referee had spotted it as Thiago Motta was sent off in the opening half hour.
In turn, that produced the iconic image seen above as while Pep Guardiola was busy giving Zlatan Ibrahimovic a tactical talk, Mourinho was seen standing behind them before he eventually said something in Guardiola’s ear.
The ‘Special One’ has now revealed what he said to his rival at that time as they went on to enjoy an incredible rivalry in the years that followed too, which at times, boiled over.
“In the stands you have time to experience the drama, at the limit you can pray, but on the field you have to find solutions,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I said it was the most wonderful defeat of my career: we didn’t lose 1-0 but we won 3-2 in epic conditions. When Busquets fell I was diagonally between our bench, theirs and the point where Thiago Motta was sent off. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the Barcelona bench celebrating as if they had already won.
“Guardiola called Ibra to talk tactics – tactics in 11 against 10! I just told him: “Don’t start the party yet, this game is not over.”’
That was peak Mourinho at the height of his powers with the Italian giants, and while the success has dried up in more recent years, the achievements and trophies that he has collected through a glittering managerial career have cemented him as one of the best in the game.
His rivalry with Guardiola was undoubtedly one of the best too, and it’s fascinating to get such insight even years later…
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