Benitez and Materazzi clash over Mourinho

Chelsea, interim manager, Rafa Benitez
Chelsea, interim manager, Rafa Benitez

Mourinho ally and one-time Inter Milan star Materazzi claimed Benitez “could not be trusted” and that he had treated players like schoolkids while in charge at the San Siro.

Materazzi and Benitez fell out spectacularly after the Spaniard was appointed Inter’s coach in 2010 in succession to Mourinho, under whom the club won the Champions League.

The defender claimed that a “weak” Benitez made them take pictures of the ‘Special One’ off dressing-room walls, and added: “If I was a club president I would never employ Benitez.”

An angry Benitez, whose team take on Swansea tonight in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, said: “He is lying. He is just lying. Everything he has said is a lie. Simple.

“Everything he talks about, the things he said about me and the pictures, it’s a lie. He’s a liar.

“In Italy everyone knows Materazzi and what he is like. I wanted to respect him and be nice. He has no place discrediting anyone.”

Materazzi had said in an interview in France: “Benitez is not my ideal coach. A great coach like Mourinho or Marcelo Lippi knows how to get their demands across. But Benitez put in 10 or 12 rules, like the Highway Code, or being at school.”

In a previous interview in November, Materazzi had revealed that he told Mourinho: “Damn you for leaving me with Benitez.”

Benitez’s outburst came on the same day the Daily Express revealed that Mourinho, now firm favourite to return to Stamford Bridge this summer, has been texting Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea go into tonight’s Liberty Stadium match 2-0 adrift after their disastrous first leg two weeks ago, and with Swans manager Michael Laudrup claiming that their opponents, having invested all their millions on players, are the team under pressure.

Benitez said: “I do not think about how much money we have spent. When you are managing in the middle of the table it’s easy to bring in young players or play a certain style. It’s when you’re at the top, or the bottom, that it becomes harder.”

Ashley Cole has completed the signing of his one-year contract extension with Chelsea.

The 32-year-old full-back, who had turned down a previous deal, was out of contract at the end of this season and had been courted by Real Madrid as well as Paris Saint-Germain.

Courtesy of The Express, UK.

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