Jose Mourinho may be on the end of constant criticism this season, but the Manchester United manager still has a few well-wishers in Italy, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says.
The Red Devils’ struggles early on this season have raised questions over the coach’s future ahead of their Champions League clash with the Serie A champions on Tuesday, as his side have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions.
Although many are starting to doubt him, the Portuguese coach still boasts of the success he achieved before his arrival at Old Trafford. He was once again waving three fingers in front of Chelsea fans to remind them of the three Premier League titles he won at Stamford Bridge after they wound him up during their 2-2 draw on Saturday.
The Blues supporters may have turned against Mourinho despite his success in London, but Chiellini says he will always have the respect of Italians after his time with Inter.
In two years at San Siro, Mourinho guided his team to two Serie A titles before leaving to join Real Madrid in the wake of their Champions League success.
Although the manager had his share of controversial incidents in Italy, too, Chiellini says he and his Juve team-mates respect him and are looking forward to facing him again.
“Surely it will be a fantastic atmosphere, this historic stadium,” he told BT Sport . “Also a big coach who we loved in the past in Italy.
“Juventus fans know a lot about him, but in Italy we love Mourinho for his success.”
Juve have a two-point lead at the top of Group H ahead of the trip to Old Trafford and are hoping to progress to another European final after losing out at the final hurdle in 2015 and 2017.
But the Italy international says the Bianconeri are not obsessed with going all the way this time around.
“The Champions League for us is not a dream, but a target,” he added. “The only important thing for now is that we get past the group stage.”