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Mourinho opens up on rivalry with Guardiola’s Barcelona during his Real Madrid stint: “It was beautiful”

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Photo by DANI POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE Podcast, former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho shared his thoughts on the rivalry between his Los Blancos team and Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona during the early 2010s.

While Barcelona and Real Madrid have been historic rivals, the enmity between the two clubs rose to a whole new level when Mourinho was in the Merengues’ dugout between 2010 and 2013.

Tempers flared time and again between the players on the pitch, while arguments on the touchline between the two dugouts and barbs in press conferences became a norm.

Now, Mourinho opened up on how things were between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the time, as he said:

“My years at Real Madrid, there was a huge rivalry with Barcelona. It was not just the cultural and historic rivalry, but in that moment…the best Cristiano, the best Messi, the best Benzema, the best Higuain, the best Iniesta, the best Di Maria.”

“Barcelona were the best team in the world, Madrid were trying to change that. The world stopped for Real Madrid vs Barcelona. One season Barça wins, one season Madrid wins,” he continued.

“It was beautiful, but the intensity [made it a huge rivalry],” Mourinho concluded.

The Portuguese tactician, who is currently unattached after being sacked by AS Roma, discussed the pressure that came with the job be it at Real Madrid or Barcelona, saying:

“It was hard, but then you feel you cannot go higher than that. For us, when we won the league, we won 100 points. You know that if you do not win 98, 99 points, you do not win it.

“You know that if you have a draw, you are in trouble, because Barcelona win. The previous season, when Barcelona won, we lost with 91, 92 points. You have to win, you have to win!”

Further adding on the matter, he said: “In the end you enjoy the fight. Maybe because of that pressure, after the second year, Pep went on a sabbatical.

“After the third season, I spoke to the president and told him, ‘I think it is better for me to go, join Chelsea and change a little more.’”

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