Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc claims that Jose Mourinho faced little competition himself when in charge of Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has hit back at Jose Mourinho for claiming that Ligue 1 is not competitive.
The two clubs will confront each other in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this month, the first leg of which will be played at Parc des Princes in Paris on Wednesday.
Ahead of the encounter, Mourinho claimed that PSG were in a favourable position as they would have more time to concentrate on the match.
The Portuguese’s reasoning was that Blanc’s side have pretty much wrapped up the Ligue 1 title, having gone 13 points clear at the top of the table at the weekend with seven more rounds of matches remaining.
PSG, who have invested heavily in their squad over the past three or so years, finished 12 points clear of Marseille last season and this campaign it is Monaco who have provided them with any kind of competition.
It was this difference in points tally and the fact that no club in France can actually compete with PSG’s massive wealth, siphoned in by their owners the Qatar Sports Investments, that Mourinho was speaking about.
However, Blanc has now retaliated, claiming that during the Chelsea boss’ time in Spain between 2010 and 2013 as Real Madrid manager, he only had to contend with Barcelona in the title race.
Mourinho led Los Blancos to second-place finishes in 2011 and 2013 and won the title in 2011-12.
"Maybe if we're talking about the league and I'm sure that Jose Mourinho knows the French league very well,” Blanc told reporters. “There are two really big clubs in Ligue 1 (PSG and Monaco), but if I remember correctly, I think it was the same for him in Spain, with Barcelona and Madrid.
"The only answer we want to give is to show a great performance (on Wednesday) and we'd like to show that Ligue 1 has some very good teams and some very good players."
Blanc could have also pointed out Mourinho’s two seasons in Italy with Inter Milan. Following the infamous Calciopoli scandal of 2006, Inter emerged as the strongest team in the whole of Serie A and won the Scudetti four years in a row between 2007 and 2010.
Mourinho was responsible for winning the final two Serie A titles and it was only in 2009-10 that Inter faced real competition, as Roma finished just two points behind them in second.
Yet, the fact that PSG have always been favourites to win Ligue 1 and that they have virtually wrapped up the title with two or so months to go cannot be ignored. The French top flight may have competition elsewhere in the table, but when it comes to the title, it is pretty much a one-horse race.
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