Sport Conte brands Mourinho as 'little man,' 'fake' in escalation of verbal war

10:35  07 january  2018
10:35  07 january  2018 Source:   theScore

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Antonio Conte has branded José Mourinho a ‘ little man ’ and a ‘ fake ’ in an astonishing escalation of the verbal war that has broken out between the pair in recent days.

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a group of people standing in front of a crowd© GLYN KIRK / AFP / Getty Antonio Conte wasted no time firing back.

On Saturday, one day after Jose Mourinho referenced Conte's four-month ban for allegedly failing to report match-fixing, the Italian manager identified the Special One as a "little man" and "fake" in yet another attack involving the two tacticians.

"I think before you make this type of comment, before to hurt another person, you must pay great attention," Conte said, according to the Guardian's Nick Ames. "You show you are a little man. A little man. You don't know very well (what) is the situation. But I know him very well in the past. In the past he was a little man in many circumstances, is a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future.

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"Also if he wants to try to change his behaviours ... but the person's this, Mourinho's this. You know him very well. The level is very low. I repeat: I think before to speak you have to know very well what happened."

Conte didn't stop there, bringing up Mourinho's treatment of Claudio Ranieri. In 2008, the Portuguese manager declared that his then-predecessor at Chelsea "still struggled to say 'good morning' and 'good afternoon'" despite having been in England for five years. In 2015, after Leicester City sacked the tactician with whom the Foxes conquered the Premier League, Mourinho wore a training top with "CR" emblazoned on it at a press conference.

"I remember a stupid example with Ranieri," Conte stated. "When he offended Ranieri for his English. Then when Ranieri was sacked he put on a shirt for Ranieri. You are a fake. I think you have good consideration for a person or not. It doesn't change your opinion to be more sympathetic. If you want to fight a person, you try to kill this person. And then after two years you try to help this person, because maybe it's good for you, for your profile."

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WATCH: Antonio Conte calls Mourinho a ' little man ' (2:25). This shows you are a fake . This spectacular escalation in tension between Conte and Mourinho means all eyes will be on the Old Trafford touchline when Chelsea visit United in the Premier League on Feb.

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Mourinho raised the ante on Friday, claiming, per the Guardian's David Hytner and Jamie Jackson: "What has never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match-fixing. That never happened to me and it will never happen."

In 2016, Conte was acquitted of failing to prevent a match-fixing scandal while in charge of Robur Siena. The acquittal took place after he had served a four-month ban imposed by the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio.

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