MILAN, Italy, Nov 8 – Jose Mourinho may have enraged Juventus fans by taunting them after Manchester United’s dramatic 2-1 win in Turin on Wednesday but Inter Milan’s Chinese president Steven Zhang was impressed by his attitude.
Mourinho’s side snatched a vital Champions League victory in Turin thanks to Juan Mata’s free-kick and a Leonardo Bonucci own goal in the last four minutes.
Mourinho responded in typically controversial fashion as the United manager marched onto the pitch at the final whistle with his hand cupped to one ear.
“They insulted me for 90 minutes,” said Mourinho. “I just made a gesture that I wanted to hear them louder. I probably shouldn’t have done it, with a cool head I wouldn’t have.”
And Zhang — always very active on social media — saw the photos on Instagram and immediately placed a “like” to the post on FcInter1908, a partner of Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, triggering further comments.
Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes had slammed Mourinho’s gesture. “This is everywhere he goes. You need to win with a bit of class,” said Scholes, 43.
“I don’t think there’s any need for it but that’s the way he is.”
Mourinho’s treble with Inter Milan in 2010 — which included his second Champions League triumph after also winning it with Porto — provided an enormous boost to the Portuguese’s reputation as a top-class manager.
Zhang, 26, is currently in Shanghai with club vice-president Javier Zanetti for the China International Import Expo with the goal of widening the boundaries of the Inter brand.
Mourinho spoke in Turin of being part of the “Inter family” and the 55-year-old’s mocking of rivals Juventus pleased fans of the club who had snatched a 1-1 draw against Barcelona on Tuesday with a late Mauro Icardi goal.
The Spaniards qualified for the knockout round with Inter second in Group B, three points ahead of Tottenham with two games left to play.
For the first time since the 2002-03 season Italian clubs could see all four teams going through to the last 16.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli are top of Group C ahead of last year’s finalists Liverpool despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.
Roma are level with champions Real Madrid at the top of Group G on nine points, following a 2-1 victory at CSKA Moscow.