Jose Mourinho praises Chelsea’s Premier League title rivals, talks Abramovich

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Ahead of the new Premier League season, Jose Mourinho has been talking about the main rivals to wrestle the title from Chelsea’s grasp.

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Mourinho, 52, led the Blues to their first PL trophy in five years last season, as he now has three PL crowns on his resume with Chelsea but is hungry for more. The west London club kick off their season against Swansea City on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).

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Chelsea lost 1-0 to Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium last Sunday, with Mourinho and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger causing quite a stir as they refused to shake hands. However, when Mourinho spoke with Sky Sports in the UK on Tuesday and was asked about their rivals for the title this season, he was hugely complimentary about Arsenal and the other contenders.

“History plays a part. Investment plays another part,” Mourinho said. “Chelsea have been champions four times in the last decade, Arsenal a fantastic club with great players, Liverpool an amazing investment, Man City the squad is to laugh but also with two Premier League’s and Man United with everything in the history, the players, the investment.Everybody will be there.”

Mourinho then gave some rare thoughts on his relationship with Russian billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich. The duo had a falling out during Mourinho’s first spell in charge of Chelsea, which led to his dismissal in 2007, but the Portuguese coach is adamant all that is now behind them.

“Very correct. No problems,” Mourinho said. “My first period, the personal relationship was very good. Professionally we had some interference. Some disagreements with some ideas. In this moment we don’t have this problem and obviously I always felt the respect and he [Abramovich] knows that he has my respect and my pride to work for this club.”