Jose Mourinho risked angering Chelsea fans by saying he wanted Real Madrid to win the Champions League – insisting they were close to his heart.
The Blues have been drawn against Los Blancos in the European Cup quarter-finals – the third season in a row they will face the Spanish side.
Mourinho enjoyed success at both Stamford Bridge and the Bernabeu, where he won eight major accolades in west London – including three Premier League titles in his two spells.
Meanwhile, he guided Los Blancos to La Liga and Copa del Rey glory during his three-year stay in the Spanish capital.
And it’s the La Liga giants he hopes will win a record 15th Champions League crown.
After Roma sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday night, the Special One opened up on their friendship with Real manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Speaking ahead of the Champions League quarter-final draw, he said: “There is a club that is close to my heart and there is a manager who is my friend.
“Real Madrid are great and Carlo Ancelotti is great!
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“I hope they continue like this to win the final.”
Another of Mourinho’s former sides – Inter Milan – are also still in the Champions League, where they will face Benfica for a place in the last four.
He guided Inter to European Cup success in 2010 where the Italian side beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final.
Blues fans and Mourinho have a strained relationship after Mourinho took over at Manchester United after leaving Chelsea.
And he then did the unthinkable and opted to take charge of bitter rivals Tottenham.
It was claimed in January that Mourinho remained open to a third spell at Chelsea, with his wife and family still living in London.
Although a backtrack seems unlikely, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly maintains his faith in Graham Potter – despite the club sitting tenth in the table.
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