Europe news

Mourinho dismisses Iniesta jibe

June 10, 2013
By Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has dismissed Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta's claim that he "damaged" Spanish football during his contentious spell as Real Madrid boss.

Jose Mourinho, Tito Vilanova
GettyImagesJose Mourinho believes he "hurt" Barcelona by breaking their dominance

• Palmer: The Abramovich Years
• Brewin: Back at the Bridge
• Mourinho in quotes

Mourinho's behaviour and the conduct of his team earned him plenty of scorn in the Spanish media over the last three years, yet he made no excuses for the events that surrounded his stint at the Bernabeu.

Asked about Iniesta's comment at his Chelsea press conference on Monday, Mourinho replied: "I damaged Spanish football? I only damaged Spanish football by being the manager that broke Barcelona's dominance.

"They were dominant, dominant and dominant, and it looked like a dominance without an end. Then Real Madrid won a cup final against Barcelona, the Super Cup against Barcelona, we won in Barcelona and the championship, which is the historic championship of 100 points and 121 goals.

"I hurt them, I hurt them. It was a fantastic time for me, reaching what I wanted to reach: the three domestic titles I didn't have in my career. We couldn't get the Champions League, which was our ambition, but it's very difficult to do that. You never know when you can do that.

"It was so difficult at Madrid. When I arrived they'd not even been to a quarter-final for six years, but we got into the semis. We couldn't win it. Other teams did. I'm happy Chelsea and Bayern did it. And I can say, with pride, that I managed a big club like Real."

Mourinho has vowed to reshape his image in his second stint as Chelsea boss.