Jose Mourinho is back, ladies and gentlemen, and for his first act he's taken a swipe at his former employers.
According to John Drayton of The Daily Mail, Mourinho said "Madrid is politics. Madrid is not about football, Madrid is not about sport," while referring to the succession of behind-the-scenes battles he experienced at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The former manager clashed heavily with key figures and the relationship ended in a messy dispute, with Mourinho appearing to do everything possible to ensure he was sacked at the end of the 2012-13 season.
After defying the Madrid board's wishes by dropping and alienating star goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Mourinho said of his replacement: "While I’m Real Madrid coach, Diego Lopez will always play."
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.
Ronaldo was always believed to be entrenched in the Mourinho camp; he shares the same super agent Jorge Mendes and played extremely well under Mourinho's guidance.
Ronaldo's goal-scoring hauls in each season with Mourinho—53, 60 and 55—indicate that.
There are some things in life that don't deserve any mention. This is one of those things and I won't comment on it for obvious reasons. I always respect my coaches and try to learn from them.
As we say in Portugal, "I don't spit on the plate I eat on." That's how I feel. I prefer to try and remember the positive side [to Mourinho].'
We are facing Chelsea, not their coach.
Ronaldo recognised another classic Mourinho moment and did well to dodge a potential war of words.
Mourinho uses the media to gain headlines for his club. It's the reason he didn't get the Barcelona job. Having signalled his interest and meeting with directors, when asked if he could change his remit he replied with a simple "no."
Rather than take the bait, Ronaldo has sidestepped Mourinho's remark and brought the focus back to football.
It's a policy many should adopt when dealing with the self-proclaimed 'Happy One', as it's certainly the most effective way to shut him down.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!