Jose Mourinho says Antonio Conte feud over ahead of FA Cup final

The duo have been involved in a war of words since the 2016-17 season, when Jose Mourinho criticised Antonio Conte for celebrating wildly after Chelsea's 4-0 win over Manchester United.

Published: May 18, 2018 4:08:41 pm
FA Cup final, Manchester United vs Chelsea Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. (Reuters)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says the sometimes bitter feud between himself and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte has ended ahead of the sides’ meeting in Saturday’s FA Cup final. The duo have been involved in a war of words since the 2016-17 season, when Mourinho criticised Conte for celebrating wildly after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over United, while the Italian accused his Portuguese rival of being obsessed with the Blues.

The feud continued into this season as Mourinho labelled the Italian’s touchline manner as clown-like and alluded to a match-fixing allegation against the former Juventus boss, which he was cleared of in Italy. Conte, in turn, described former Chelsea manager Mourinho as a “little man” and “a fake”. “It’s okay. It’s okay. He stretched out (to shake hands), I stretched out. We got bored,” Mourinho told Portuguese news outlet Record.

“After the game in Manchester, I invited him to come to my office. We talked. Nothing’s wrong.” Mourinho previously managed Chelsea for five seasons across two stints before joining United in 2016. The Portuguese boss led United to a second-placed league finish this season, while Conte has fared worse, with defending champions Chelsea ending the campaign in fifth and failing to qualify for the Champions League.

The pair will face off once again when United aim to win a record-equalling 13th FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday. United midfielder Scott McTominay says the team will be gunning to clinch the trophy for former boss Alex Ferguson, who is recovering after undergoing surgery for a brain haemorrhage earlier this month.

“It’s so important after a long season. It hasn’t quite gone to plan in the league and other cup competitions but we want to go for the FA Cup and win silverware,” McTominay told United’s website. “That’s what Manchester United is built around and we really want to do it for Sir Alex Ferguson as well, as he’s obviously not so well at this moment in time. It’s so important to bring home the silverware for him.”

Chelsea’s seventh and most recent FA Cup triumph was under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012, and the London outfit were defeated in last year’s final by Arsenal.

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