Antonio Conte Looking Forward to Facing Jose Mourinho Again

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho began 2018 with an ugly, prolonged back and forth verbal spat. They’ll end the 2017-18 season facing one another in the FA Cup Final, May 19 at Wembley Stadium. Creating further interest in this match is the fact that neither United or Chelsea have won a trophy this season, and that this clash provides the final opportunity to do so.

With Mourinho having previously managed Chelsea on two occasions, it’s yet another angle to the game. In fact, comparisons of records and winning percentages to Mourinho even came up in Conte’s press conference on Friday.

jose mourinho antonio conte chelsea

The Conte versus Mourinho row was one in which both men seemingly had to get the last word in; as both individuals have larger than life egos, as well as a level of competitiveness that’s off the charts.

After yesterday’s 2-0 semifinal win over Southampton, Conte spoke about his relationship with Mourinho and any potential for conflict on the touchline or the pitch during the final.

“With Jose, we have clarified the situation and that is the most important thing,” Conte said.  “There is not a problem between him and I.”

“I think this is a final between two great teams. In my mind I can tell you last season we arrived as favorites against Arsenal. I think in this season season we are not arriving as favorites but as you know very well, last season we lost the cup.”

Conte said he has healthy he respect for Mourinho despite the ugliness of the public feud earlier this campaign

“We are talking about two managers with a strong character and about two winners and when your mind, your heart, your blood and there is the will to win, for sure we want to try to win this trophy,” Conte added.

“The same way Manchester United wants to achieve this. I have great respect for United’s story, for Mourinho’s story. I think they have the same respect for Chelsea’s story and my story.”

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The FA Cup final will also be “the rubber match” in the United-Chelsea series this season. Both sides won at home in league play this season. Chelsea beat United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on November 5 while United bested Chelsea 2-1 on February 25.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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