Jose Mourinho and Mario Balotelli
Blasting Jose Mourinho appears to be the latest fashion in football. Just days after German legend Franz Beckenbauer described Mourinho as "rude and uneducated," Manchester City badboy Mario Balotelli has joined him in insulting his former manager.
The Italian was asked for his opinion on the Portuguese tactician in an interview with La Gazetta dello Sport, to which he replied: "Mourinho is the best coach in the world, but as a man he still needs to learn manners and respect."
It is well known that there is no love lost between Mourinho and Balotelli, and Mourinho is not the most popular man in football by any means, but this latest attack is perhaps the most controversial to date. Mario Balotelli telling Mourinho to learn some manners and respect is reminiscent of a heroine addict campaigning against alcoholism.
Balotelli is widely regarded as the most arrogant and disrespectful player in the game. From his regular temper tantrums to his recent claims that he had never heard of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, controversy is at the centre of everything Balotelli says and does.
It would be easy to liken him to Jose. Both have been slated for their disrespect by the press and their peers on countless occasions, both seem to relish such attention and both are, without a doubt, fantastic at their jobs.
Balotelli's apparent "any publicity is good publicity" view seems to be the most likely explanation for his attack on Mourinho, and it appears that he is simply trying to take some of the spotlight off of Jose Mourinho and onto himself in a bid to boost his ego.
Beckenbauer's statements, whether popular or unpopular, came from a man who has proven himself time and time again, both as a manager and a player, and a true legend of the game. Balotelli simply does not hold the same status or level of respect that "Der Kaiser" enjoys, and it would be much easier to simply shrug off his remarks as hypocrisy, born of a personal feud with Mourinho that he invited onto himself.