Jose Mourinho: I respect Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez’s career

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho has insisted there is no rivalry between himself and Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez despite the pair’s former heated relationship.

Mourinho and Benitez often clashed in the media or on the touchline during both manager’s careers at Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.

Since then however, Jose moved on to Real Madrid before returning once more to the Blues and finally landing at Old Trafford since last season.

Benitez had an interesting career himself, almost chasing the Portuguese manager in his former jobs with Inter Milan, Chelsea briefly and Madrid as well.

Since then though Benitez has found himself at Newcastle and after successfully promoting the club to the Premier League, the Spaniard will once more do battle with his former foe.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Jose said: “I don’t think the rivalry was with Rafael, I think the rivalry was between our clubs rather than between us.

“We are managers from the same generation, we came to England in the same season and we were both successful in the European competitions.

“Not many [managers have] won the Champions League and Europa League. We are some of the few managers that did it.

“Of course between Liverpool and Chelsea, in the big matches rivalry happens but I respect him, his talent, his career and I want to believe that he feels the same.”

The Red Devils face Newcastle at home and with their impressive record so far at Old Trafford this season, fans will surely feel confident of another three points in the bag.

United desperately need a win on the back of the defeat to Chelsea before the international break as the Premier League starts to heat up.

Closing the eight pointgap to league leaders Manchester City will be of the utmost priority to Jose Mourinho and his squad.

Newcastle meanwhile, can climb as high as eighth place should they secure an unlikely away win and if other results go their way.

Europa League football will prove to be a huge success for Benitez but Jose will surely hope to send his former enemy tumbling down the table.

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