Mourinho: I was never friends with Abramovich

Jose Mourinho insists he has only ever been an employee of Roman Abramovich, rather than close friends with the Chelsea owner.

Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge tomorrow for the first time since his tenure as Chelsea boss was terminated by Abramovich last December.

Abramovich twice hired and fired Mourinho – and together they led the club to three Premier League titles – although the Portugese says their relationship was never more than professional.

“He was never my friend. We had always the relation of owner-manager, a very respectful relation,” Mourinho said.

“We were never friends, we were never close to each other. So no, he’s just a person that I respected.”

Mourinho has pledged to temper his celebrations if his Manchester United side come away with a victory tomorrow, with a warm reception expected to be forthcoming from Chelsea supporters.

“What can I expect? I don’t know,” he said.

“They (Chelsea fans) can think about me and remember our great relation and have a great reaction.

“They can look at me and say, for 90 minutes he’s Man United manager and he’s playing against us, so he’s not someone that we like in this moment.

“If you ask me if my team score a goal, am I going to celebrate like a crazy kid? No, I think I can control emotionally that situation.”