Jose Mourinho reveals his 'huge respect' for Rafa Benitez – and recalls their previous feuds

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Jose Mourinho has spoken about his longstanding rivalry with Rafa Benitez ahead of their meeting at Old Trafford.

The pair – who have both managed Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Chelsea –have had a number of public spats since they arrived in England more than a decade ago.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

However, Mourinho has spoken of his "respect" for Newcastle United's manager ahead of Saturday evening's Premier League game.

READ MORE: Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to make a shock comeback against Newcastle?

"I don't think the rivalry was with Rafael, it was more between our clubs than between us," Manchester United's manager told Sky Sports.

"We are managers from the same generation. We came to England in the same season – 2004-05.

"We were both successful in European competitions – not many have won Champions League and Europa League, and we are some of the few managers who did it.

"Of course, between Liverpool and Chelsea, we had matches and rivalry, and it happens.

"But I have huge respect for him, for his talent, for his career, and I want to believe he feels the same."