Friday's clash in Prague has been built up by many as a reunion of two old managerial enemies, but the Chelsea boss insists the only narrative that matters is on the pitch.Jose Mourinho insists he does not see Friday's Super Cup clash with Bayern Munich as a chance to get one over on old nemesis Pep Guardiola.
The pair had a long-running feud in Spain as Mourinho's Real Madrid sought to unsettle and replace Guardiola's all-conquering Barcelona as the dominant force in domestic and European football. During that battle Guardiola only lost three of his 15 meetings with Mourinho, but the Special One insists personal success will not be on his mind when the teams take to the field on Friday.
"Your statistics are wrong, very wrong, but I don’t’ want to discuss that because it’s not relevant," Mourinho bristled when confronted with his head-to-head numbers against Guardiola. "Go there and see what happened with Inter, the league of the records in Spain, the King Cup in Spain, the Super Cup in Spain, so you are very wrong. But it’s not me against him, it’s club against club.
"It’s not about me and Pep, it’s about Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Pep is not European champion, and I’m not Europa League champion. We just coach here now, so it’s not about us."
When questioned on Bayern's biggest strength, Mourinho had no doubts.
"Bayern’s strength is the team," Mourinho said. "The team is a team of players in the best moment of their career.
"All of them very, very, experienced - I think their average age is 27, 28 - year after year in the best competitions with their club and the national team.
"They also come from a season where they were the perfect team, because only perfect teams can win the treble.
"I played against Bayern many times, sometimes in the last years, others a long time ago. It doesn’t matter the system or the player, it’s always a powerful team and a big club."
Some see the Super Cup as a glorified friendly to kick off the European season, but Mourinho insists it will provide a valuable test for his young players, regardless of the result.
"Last year we played in the Europa League, so this is very important," Mourinho said. "I don’t want the players to think they can play at the same level as they did in the Europa League last season.
"The Champions League is a different planet, so it’s good for us that before we start, we play Bayern."