On This Day: February 14, 2010 – When De Laurentiis “Rejected” Mourinho

Mourinho? As a coach, I wouldn’t change him with Mazzarri.

So spoke the Napoli president, movie producer Aurelio De Laurentiis, in a famous statement made to Naples-based news outlet Il Mattino on February 14, 2010, ahead of a Serie A game against Inter.

Back then, José Mourinho was in charge of Inter and well on his way to achieve the famed Triplete a few months later (winning the Scudetto, the Champions League, and the Coppa Italia – au unprecedented feat in Italian Football). He was still the real deal when it came to coaching in football.

But that didn’t impress the outspoken Napoli president, who argued:

He is a prominent coach, as his professional history shows. He also is a showman and knows how to communicate: He can address an audience and a TV camera. I’d like Mourinho as an actor in one of my movies.”

But, he went on to say, “He is the last one that I would take as a coach, not even if they gave him to me for free. I’ll keep Mazzarri a hundred times.

Walter Mazzarri, who is currently serving as the Partenopei‘s caretaker after Rudi Garcia’s dismissal, was in the middle of his first stint in Napoli’s dugout (and doing much better than he is now, we would add).

Of course, when the Special One heard De Laurentiis’ remarks, he could not refrain from answering in his style:

De Laurentiis doesn’t want me? Well, he cannot afford me anyway. He is a little man that is always on TV, that already spoke about me in the past and has not understood that football is not Hollywood.”

Some classic Mourinho.

But, was all the fuss worth it in the end?

Well, not exactly, since the Napoli vs Inter match-up that sparked the confrontation between these two dissing heavyweights ended up in an inglorious nil-nil stalemate. So much ado about nothing…