Jose Mourinho and Carlos Carvalhal talk often, but the Swansea City manager made headlines when he heaped praise on his Portuguese peer.
Carvalhal called Mourinho “our king of football” on Friday, relishing the chance to match wits with his friend at Old Trafford on Saturday.
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“He is the best manager ever for Porto,” Mourinho said. “He opened the doors for the new generation of managers to go abroad. He opened the ideas of the world on Portuguese coaches.”
Mourinho acknowledged the compliment, though he dropped the acclaim just a peg.
“I spoke with him last night – he said I was the king of the coaches, not the king of football,” the United boss said. “And he said that since my winning period with Porto, and since the moment I left the country, I opened the door for more Portuguese coaches to leave, which is something that I know is true. But I speak with Carlos a couple of times every week. This week was not different. So last night we spoke a little and I thanked him for his nice words because one thing is to think, and one thing is to say.”
Mourinho is nearly three years Carvalhal’s senior, but both took their first managerial steps domestically in 2000.
Carvalhal knows Swansea is a heavy underdog on the weekend, though he’s handling the opportunity with what’s becoming a staple of his managerial game: Quips!
“But there are two things: I have never lost against him or at Old Trafford, because it is the first time I will play him or play there, so it is a good record!