Jose Mourinho has been calling for respect in the last couple of weeks so it is probably little surprise to see him now spearhead a list of Europe’s elite coaches in a forum hosted by UEFA.
Mourinho was furious with a journalist during a post-match press conference following Manchester United’s dismal 3-0 Premier League defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last month, calling for more ‘respect’ after ranting that he had won more Premier League titles than all the managers in the top flight put together.
But joined by old rivals Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez, the United boss was part of 12 managers discussing the major issues in the game
The coaches forum in Nyon at UEFA’s HQ on Tuesday was held with the purpose of to discuss and make proposals to the governing body that may be of overall benefit to the European game.
Managers can be invited to attend the event but must fit the criteria of having taken charge of 100 Champions League matches, been part of last season’s last-16 or been in charge of one of last season’s final four in the Europa League.
Mourinho’s relationship with Wenger has been sour since the Portuguese came to the Premier League in 2004, hitting a low in the last few years when he called the former Arsenal boss a specialist in failure.
The two had previously battled for the title while Mourinho was at Chelsea, who also developed a rivalry with Benitez during the Spaniard’s time as Liverpool boss as their respective sides repeatedly clashed in the Champions League.
But the trio put their differences to one side at the annual event now in its 20th year.
Among those invited to this year’s event was Unai Emery but despite being confirmed to appear at the summit was nowhere to be seen in the group photo that featured his predecessor in Wenger.
Wenger is without a club after leaving the Gunners following 22 years at the club but he looked in high spirits at the event, sharing discussions along with Borussia Dortmund chief Thomas Tuchel and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
The meeting, that ran between 1pm and 5.50pm BST, started with all the coaches sending their best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson, who is a UEFA Coaching ambassador.
The former Manchester United boss is on the mend following recent emergency surgery after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Helping discuss talks with the managers from UEFA was the president Ceferin as well as competitions director Giorgio Marchetti and chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti.