If you needed any more proof that there’s no love lost between Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, you have it now.
At Friday’s Chelsea press conference, Conte was asked about Mourinho’s recent criticism of other managers’ behaviour on the touchline, and in response he used an Italian phrase that translates as ‘senile dementia’.
On Thursday, Mourinho said he did not need to act like a “clown” on the sidelines to prove his commitment to his club.
It was little more than a thinly veiled swipe at some of his fellow managers, many of whom are far more animated than Mourinho on the sidelines.
“Because I don’t behave as a clown on the touchline, it means that I lost my passion,” he said.
“I prefer to behave the way I am doing it, much more mature, better for my team and myself, I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion.
“That passion, you see it every day. The way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras.”
When asked about those comments on Friday, Conte said some of Mourinho’s past behaviour must have slipped his mind, and used the Italian phrase “demenza senile” to suggest that maybe the Portuguese boss was losing his memory in his old age.
“I think he has to see himself in the past – maybe he was speaking about himself in the past. Maybe, sometimes, I think that someone forgets what’s said in the past, which is his behaviour,” Conte said.
“Sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, but demenza senile… when you forget what you do in the past.”
This particular issue between the two managers first reared its head after the Blues’ 4-0 win over United at Stamford Bridge last season, when Mourinho accused Conte of trying to humiliate him with his over-the-top celebrations.
One thing is clear: Mourinho and Conte aren’t going to become friends any time soon.