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Guardiola and Mourinho Begrudgingly Renew Rivalry In Bayern and Chelsea Supercup Clash.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will go head to head once more as Bayern Munich take on Chelsea in the UEFA Supercup Final tonight and the bad blood between the pair certainly won't have cooled.

For three seasons the managers squared up with one another for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and while Guardiola tended to come out victorious on the pitch, he was well and truly left behind by Mourinho off it.

Citing stress as the reason behind his sabbatical from coaching in 2012-13, Guardiola penned an autobiography on his time with Barcelona, admitting that Mourinho's mind games were some of the toughest issues he had to deal with mentally in his time in charge of one of the finest sides every constructed.

The two squared off on 15 occasions in Spain, with Mourinho only tasting success on three occasions. The Portuguese tactician will undoubtedly be more than aware of his miserly record and was quickly on the defensive when reminded of this statistic by a journalist at the pre-game press conference this week.

"Your statistics are very wrong," he said. "Go and see what happened when I was with Inter in the Champions League semi-final, the King's Cup final with Real in Spain, the Super Cup in Spain [2012]."

Later he relented: "Maybe you are right and I am wrong but I don't care. This is not about us, it's about Chelsea and Bayern."

The journalist was in fact right, and when Guardiola's has his opportunity tospeak, much like in his famous rant in 2011, he was insistent that the game is to be won on the pitch and not by the words and actions of the managers.

But despite both of the men insisting they will not be in the spotlight tonight, it's clear that the contrary will be the case. Their history at Barcelona and Real Madrid is well documented and contains many moments which culminated in the controversial ways in which both men left their clubs.

Now, with Mourinho having supposedly 'come home' to Chelsea and evolving from the Special One into the Happy One, it is important to remember that just a few months before Roman Abramovich made the decision to call on the 50 year old's managerial expertise for a second time, Guardiola was being courted by the Russian billionaire for the position.

Apparently unhappy despite Chelsea's Champions League trophy win, Abramovich was seeking a manager who could bring the attractive football that took Barcelona from champions into a successful dynasty in the 21st century.

Guardiola has suggested he could one day manage in England, leaving open the possibility that he will once again be coming head to head with Mourinho in league football - granted that requires Abramovich keeps him around for longer than the usual 70 days or so.

Some have argued in the lead-up to the UEFA Supercup that the competition - perhaps not worthy of the phrase 'competiton' considering it is a one-off game - is a rather pointless exercise. But for this match-up at least, another chapter will be written in the fantasticly fierce rivalry of Guardiola and Mourinho.

Whether the managers like it or not, the fans will be just as interested in their movements in the dugout as in the players on the pitch on Friday night.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Aug 30, 2013
Words:548
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