Jose Mourinho irritated by comparisons to Pep Guardiola
Chelsea manager insists Spaniard Juan Mata is staying at Stamford Bridge
Jose Mourinho during a training session prior to the Uefa Super Cup match against Bayern Munich at Stadion Eden in Prague, Czech Republic. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Juan Mata of Chelsea is not for sale, according to Jose Mourinho. Photograph: Petr Josek/Reuters
The outspoken Portuguese was unhappy about comparisons with his old rival, Bayern counterpart Pep Guardiola, at today’s news conference and seemed irritated by yet more questions about the future of Spain playmaker Juan Mata.
When one reporter suggested Mourinho had only beaten the former Barcelona manager three times in 15 meetings, he responded by recalling a string of victories he had enjoyed with Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
“Your statistics are very wrong,” he said. “Go and see what happened when I was with Inter in the Champions League semi-final, the King’s Cup final with Real in Spain, the Super Cup in Spain. Maybe you are right and I am wrong but I don’t care. This is not about us, it’s about Chelsea and Bayern.”
Another reporter said that while Barcelona under Guardiola were portrayed as beautiful, his former Real team were generally viewed in less flattering terms.
“If you want to ask questions about Chelsea I am here until four o’clock,” said a clearly irritated Mourinho as he tapped the club crest of the Europa League winners on his white training top. “If you want to ask questions about Real or Barcelona then I’m not here.”
Mata was voted Chelsea’s player of the year for the last two seasons but his omission from the team for Monday’s 0-0 draw at Premier League title rivals Manchester United prompted renewed claims the Spaniard was out of favour with Mourinho.
Asked if Mata was available for a transfer, the manager replied: “I was surprised when the Brazilian lady asked me about Oscar earlier because there is a new tendency to ask about the players who don’t play. They don’t ask about the players that play. He (Mata) didn’t play against United, it was my option. “I think it is my duty to explain to the players and I do. I don’t think it is my duty to explain to the media,” added Mourinho.
“Everything is clear between us. We want him to stay and he is a very important player. There is no story.”
Mata could return to Chelsea’s team on Friday and Brazil defender David Luiz is also fit after recovering from a hamstring problem. Playmaker Willian, Chelsea’s new big-money signing from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, is not in the 26-man squad, not is Samuel Eto’o, who followed his team-mate from Anzhi to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho turned to Eto’o after seeing two bids for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney rejected.
Eto’o said on chelseafc.com: “I am very happy to be here but also anxious because I want to get playing as soon as possible. It wasn’t a hard decision. I saw the qualities Chelsea have, and I was very happy with Jose Mourinho before, so when the opportunity came, I was very happy to take it.”