Jose Mourinho has stirred the pot ahead of Chelsea’s visit tonight to the Nou Camp by claiming that Eidur Gudjohnsen had learnt how to dive since leaving the club for Barcelona.
The Chelsea manager also called upon the referee, Stefano Farina to be strong, amid suggestions that Barcelona receive favourable decisions at Camp Nou.
On Saturday, Gudjohnsen earned a dubious penalty in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Recreativo Huelva, leading Mourinho to say: “I changed channels when I saw the penalty”.
“It’s a bit surprising, especially with Eidur,” he continued.
“Eidur played in English football all his life and three months later he gets that penalty.”
His words re-ignited the simmering feud that has existed between the two clubs in recent seasons.
“I know the number of penalties they get at home,” Mourinho added.
“I know the number of times they play against 10 players. But it surprised me with Eidur. He played in England all his life, but three months later he gets that penalty. That is Spanish competition. In English football, players are not allowed to do that. If players do that, the press kill them.
“There are three teams who want to be the best team on the pitch: Chelsea, Barcelona and Mr Farina and his assistants. If that happens, the game will be fantastic. We all have a big responsibility, because all around the world people want to see this game.
“They don’t want to see Bayern Munich against Porto, or Spartak and Inter, or Olympiakos against I don’t know who. The game the world wants to see is Barcelona against Chelsea.”
Asked whether there would be more “theatre” tonight, Mourinho smiled. “Ask Eidur,” he said.
His opposite number Frank Rijkaard dismissed the suggestion that Barcelona tried to cheat.
“We are working hard and we are working honestly,” he said. “We don’t need [to cheat]. It’s a poor man’s mind in general. It’s always the losers who are complaining about a result. It’s something we have to cope with.”