Jose starts swinging, leaving Serie A battered & bruised

Jose Mourinho has been itching for a fight ever since the national media dismissed his Inter side as second-best to Manchester United last week.His excuse came after two days of wall-to-wall coverage on the penalty won by Mario Balotelli, which dragged the Nerazzurri back into the game against Roma at the weekend.The thrust had been that the league leaders were favoured by the referee, so you can imagine the little Portuguese bruiser needed little psyching up for what, in normal circumstances, would have been a pretty run-of-the-mill press conference ahead of the Italian Cup semi-final at Sampdoria on Wednesday.The Feisty One came out swinging in all directions, and his scattergun approach landed blows on just about anyone and everyone involved with Italian football – with Claudio Ranieri naturally getting one below the belt.

"I hope you've got plenty of lead in that pencil" 

Talk about burning bridges, they were raised from the ground and then tossed into the river. He was out of his corner in a flash and immediately tore into the gathered hacks for manipulating public opinion to hide the fact that Inter are running away with the title, while Juventus, Milan and Roma are going to end up empty-handed.

“It was fantastic work but it is unrelated to my world - I work in football. I don’t like intellectual prostitution - I like honesty,” he thundered.Has anyone ever uttered the term “intellectual prostitution” in normal conversation before, never-mind a football press conference. And just what does it mean?As the temperature in the press room dropped and Mourinho’s mood darkened further, his wrath then turned towards his favourite whipping boy.

"Talk to the hand Jose"

Ranieri had come out and supported Luciano Spalletti over his complaints about ‘that penalty’ so Juve was an easy target for a Mourinho snipe.

“Ranieri called me after the game at the weekend but I refused to take the call,” he revealed in typical dismissive manner.Then an upper cut to Spalletti: “He’s always on television giving interviews and being everyone’s friend. I don’t like prime-time television and you couldn’t pay to go on it.“Why aren’t people talking about Juve who have collected plenty of points due to refereeing mistakes, or the fact that Roma will end the season with nothing and Milan are 12 points behind Inter.”

"Does this look like a face that cares?"

And so it went on, one rhetorical question after another for a full seven minutes. For a man who doesn’t like prime-time television, he’s the perfect Mr Showtime.

The press of course had a field day and were suitably aghast – more on the perceived attack on their noble profession“Prostitution?,” screamed La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Who does he mean? Name names.”What they should have asked is, what does he mean? No home-grown coach would have broken the omortà of publically criticising his peers, but then Jose can always pack up and head back to the Premier League whenever he feels like it.With the make or break trip to Old Trafford just around the corner, this latest outburst could backfire spectacularly. But that probably never crossed Mourinho’s mind as he continues to revel in the storm he has caused around the Italian game.

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