Ancelotti aims to end Mourinho feud
Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to use Chelsea's UEFA Champions League clash with Inter Milan as an opportunity to end his feud with Jose Mourinho.
The pair clashed several times in Italy last season before Ancelotti, in his final year with AC Milan, moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Former Chelsea boss Mourinho insisted Ancelotti was "no friend of his" when the pair shared the San Siro stadium while Ancelotti claimed he was not a follower of the self-proclaimed 'Special One'.
The Champions League draw has now pitched the 'Normal One' against the 'Special One' but Ancelotti is hoping to draw a line under their antagonistic relationship and will ignore any of Mourinho's mind games ahead of the tie. "If we don't have a good relationship, this game can be a good opportunity to return to a good relationship," said Ancelotti.
"There were some problems, some questions and discussions in the papers. Only this. Nothing important. I'm not ready to play mind games. I never will be ready to play these games. I prefer to play football matches. I have experience of what he'll do.
"I think that, for him, it will be an emotional game. He did a very good job here in Chelsea so to play against Chelsea won't be easy for him. He will do his best to win. I said that Inter were one of the strongest teams in the second group, but we have to accept this draw. If we want to win the Champions League we have to fight against strong teams. I know Inter very well and they're a strong team, so I think they will be tough games.
"Mourinho did a very good job and maintained a very good relationship with these players. That's normal. They won things and this will be a reminder of those seasons. It's difficult because I think that Inter are, at this moment, the strongest team in Italy. They are at the top of the table. It's difficult also for them, though, to play against Chelsea."
It was clear Ancelotti was taking extra care to avoid fuelling another row with Mourinho and tried to take the expected sting out of their meeting by claiming: "I think the match is Chelsea versus Inter, nothing else." Chelsea have never met Inter in a competitive fixture but Ancelotti beat his old rival in a pre-season friendly in America.
Mourinho won every domestic honour as manager of Chelsea before he was sacked in September 2007. However, the 'Special One' never guided Chelsea to the final of the Champions League during his spell in charge.
Ancelotti has won the Champions League twice as a player and twice as a coach but one of Mourinho's jibes last season was to mention the fact that the Italian is the only one to have lost a final when leading 3-0 at half-time. Mourinho was referring to Liverpool's amazing second-half comeback in the 2005 final in Istanbul which eventually saw the English club win 3-2 on penalties.