'Little man' Mourinho's Top 10 most brutal insults

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From Arsene Wenger to Claudio Ranieri, Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not the first to rile the outspoken Portuguese

  1. Specialist in failure!

    "He’s [Arsene Wenger] a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back."

    Arguably Mourinho's most infamous insult was directed towards Arsenal's long-serving manager in February 2014, with Arsenal enduring a trophy drought and Wenger having had the audacity to suggest that rival bosses were playing down their Premier League title chances because they "fear to fail".

    Mourinho also once said of a man he has endured regular clashes with down the years, on and off the field: "I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea."

  2. Learn the lingo!

    “Ranieri? I guess he’s right with what he said I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things. This is why I have won so many trophies in my career. Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn’t need to win. He is almost 70 years old. He has won a Supercup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality. He’s old and he hasn’t won anything. I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.'"

    What had 56-year-old, then Juventus coach Ranieri done to spark such a tirade back in 2008? He merely stated: "I am not like Mourinho, I don’t have to win things to be sure of myself." 

  3. Very Inter-esting!

    "I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him. Ask all the Inter fans what they think of me and him."

    Mourinho sought to rain on the parade of Inter successor Rafa Benitez after a Club World Cup triumph in 2010 - with his Treble-winning exploits still fresh in the memory. Mourinho also chirped back at the Spaniard's spouse during a bitter verbal battle: “The only club where her husband replaced me was at Inter Milan, where in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time. And for her also to think about me and to speak about me, I think the lady needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me.”

  4. Pep talk!

    "Guardiola is a fantastic coach but I have won two Champions Leagues. He has won [only] one Champions League and that is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge and if he wins it this year it will be with the scandal of the Bernabeu. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a proper Champions League, a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal."

    Barcelona did win the Champions League in 2011 - handing Guardiola a second European crown - but not before they had irked Clasico rivals Real Madrid during a feisty semi-final encounter, with that coaching rivalry having now been rekindled in Manchester.

  5. The real Ronaldo!

    "I was manager for the first time in 2000 but, before that, I was assistant in big clubs and with big managers and coaching the best players in the world, so I was 30 and I was coaching Ronaldo, not this one [Cristiano], the real one, the Brazilian Ronaldo."

    Having previously had a dig at Messi, Mourinho turned his sights towards Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the 2013 International Champions Cup final.

  6. Messi-ng about!

    "How do you say cheating in Catalan? Can Messi be suspended for acting? Barcelona is a cultural city with many great theatres and this boy has learned very well. He's learned play-acting." 

    Mourinho was not too happy with the role the Barcelona star played in getting Asier del Horno sent off during a Champions League game in 2006. Messi, at the tender age of 18, was unmoved, responding to reporters with: "I don't do theatre. I don't attach any importance to that because we know what he's like, that he likes talking, he likes to say things and heat up the atmosphere."

  7. Diving in!

    "I am no longer Chelsea coach, and I do not have to defend them any more, but I think it is correct if I say [Didier] Drogba is a diver. Drogba, Ronaldo, Torres and Van Persie are the divers. Who dives more? Who has won more penalties in recent years? But English football is the one that criticises the divers the most."

    Despite being the man to take the Ivorian striker to Chelsea and put him on the path to legend status at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho was not afraid to question his penchant for going to ground upon leaving west London.

  8. Monaco mystery!

    "As for [Pietro] Lo Monaco I do not know who he is. With the name Monaco I have heard of Bayern Monaco (Munich) and the Monaco GP, the Tibetan Monaco (Monk), and the Principality of Monaco. I have never heard of any others."

    When the Catania president declared back in 2008 that he would like to "smack [Mourinho] in the mouth", the Portuguese responded in typically understated fashion.

  9. Send in the clowns!

    "I prefer to behave the way I’m doing it. Much more mature, better for my team, better for myself. I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion. That passion you see it every day, the way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras."

    The comment which sparked the latest war of words with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, with Mourinho suggesting that the Italian - along with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp - may be a little too fond of touchline theatrics.

  10. Holy cow!

    "You may as well put a cow in the middle of the pitch. And then stop the game because there was a cow. You cannot do just anything in football. You have to defend with your 10 men, put the 10 men on the goal line, park the bus, but football needs a ball."

    Mourinho was less than impressed with Newcastle's tactics as Chelsea saw an unbeaten start to the Premier League season ended by a 2-1 defeat at St James' Park in December 2014.