Maurizio Sarri insists he is not better than Jose Mourinho because the under-fire Manchester United manager has won "everything everywhere" in his career.
Sarri’s Chelsea host Mourinho and United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday aiming to maintain an unbeaten start to the Premier League season that means they sit behind leaders Manchester City only on goal difference.
The Italian coach has quickly made his mark on English football since his arrival from Napoli, with his attacking style of football not only winning over his own club’s fans but also many neutrals.
By contrast, United are seven points worse off than their next opponents and Mourinho has come under significant pressure following a difficult start to the campaign, media reports prior to the international break even suggesting the Portuguese was going to lose his job.
Yet despite the speculation over his future and a string of disappointing results, Mourinho's achievements in the game are more than enough to earn the respect of the current Blues boss.
When asked if he rates Mourinho as a better coach than himself, Sarri told reporters: "Of course.
"The results speak for him, I think. So, at the moment, he is better than me, for sure. I hope to improve myself in the future, but at the moment I have to say he's better than me.
"I think he is different. I think that I have my character, and my character probably is different to his character. So, I have to be myself, always, otherwise I am not credible.
"He has won everything everywhere. So, I need to win if I want to compare myself to him. At the moment, that's not possible.
"You are talking about one of the best coaches in the world, and I'm not at the moment one of the best."
Much of the criticism aimed at Mourinho this season has centred around his failure to get the best out of several of his leading players, as well as the team's overall style of play.
However, Sarri thinks whether United play an attractive brand of football is irrelevant, considering the success he has enjoyed through the years.
"The problem is not the way of football, if I like it or not. The focus is on if he is able to win. He has won everything everywhere, so probably that means he is right," he continued.
"I think he will be able to win also in the future, because he is really one of the best, maybe the best. The results are the best. I think he will be able to win again."
19. Januar 2019
|Solskjaer: Lukaku is big part of Man United squad|
|Napoli slam FIGC decision to reject Koulibaly appeal|
|We´re the hunters! - Kovac´s Bayern ready to chase down Dortmund|
|Chiefs safety Reid expected to play against Patriots|
|Chelsea not ready to rest Jorginho - Sarri|
|NFL receiver Fitzgerald has hole-in-one in round of golf with former president Obama|
|I´m really loving playing this game - Eagles QB Foles not ready to retire|
|Saints show no mercy, score 111 in rout of Timisoara Saracens|
|CAF Champions League Review: Khenissi double gets ES Tunis up and running|
18. Januar 2019
|Edinburgh clinch home quarter-final, Glasgow also advance to last eight|
|Hazlewood to miss Sri Lanka Tests with back injury|
|Norwich City 3 Birmingham City 1: Canaries end winless run to go second|
|Hoffenheim 1 Bayern Munich 3: Goretzka goals close gap on Bundesliga´s return|
|Cowboys part ways with offensive coordinator Linehan|
|Payton´s message to Saints fans: Hurry up and make noise|
|Transfer talk no distraction for Inter, says Spalletti|
|Memories of 2015 still linger for Vunipola as England begin World Cup year|
|De Bruin´s 85th-minute try consigns Kings to eighth straight loss|
|Bielsa´s Derby County dossier detail ´pretty standard´ – OptaPro chief|
|Injury-hit Madrid lose Navas to adductor issue|
|Patriots coach Belichick still gets nervous ´every week´|
|Copa del Rey draw: Barcelona to meet Sevilla in quarter-finals|
|Kohli: No one more committed to India than Dhoni|
|Brook questions Khan credibility following Crawford agreement|
|Sad Pochettino admits Bielsa is ´wrong´|
|Simeone eyes LaLiga gain after Atletico´s Copa del Rey pain|
|Rossi a no-go for Tottenham as Pochettino rules out panic buys|
|Guardiola identifies ´three or four´ midfield targets|
|Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur|
|NFL playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Patriots v Chiefs|
|Robertson helping Klopp learn Scottish for Dalglish chats|
|Levante appeal over alleged ineligible Barcelona player rejected|
|NFL Playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Rams v Saints|
|Lowry to take three-shot Abu Dhabi lead into final round|
|Training is not for anyone else - Klopp condemns Bielsa over ´spygate´ row|
|In other countries, everybody does it - Guardiola respect remains for spying Bielsa|
|Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round|
|Klopp: Trent unbelievable for playing through pain|
|Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers|
|Ref admits error in key foul call on Lonzo Ball in Lakers-Thunder game|
|Marina Granovskaia is working very hard – Sarri ´confident´ of January signings|
|Tuchel confirms Rabiot out of PSG contention|
|Madrid derby kick-off confirmed for February 9|
|Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms|
|Bournemouth boss Howe says no offers received for Wilson|
|Kerber cruises after Wozniacki, Sabalenka upsets|
|Mbappe a great player and great person, says beaming Beckham|
|Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG|
|Albrighton signs new Leicester deal|
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|
|Levante report Barcelona for alleged use of ineligible player in Copa del Rey|
|Solskjaer regrets Sanchez´s Reading setback|
|Tomic brands Hewitt a ´liar´ as feud continues|
|Ruthless Nadal thrashes teenager De Minaur|
|Wozniacki enjoyed status as defending champion in Melbourne|
|Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football´s big time|
|Murray to miss Open 13 Marseille|
|Solskjaer´s United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|How James Harden´s 2018-19 numbers compare to his MVP campaign|
|It´s insane! - Tsitsipas excited to face ´legend´ Federer|
|Sharapova ends Wozniacki title defence|
|American teen Anisimova sends records tumbling at Aus Open|
|Lakers survive Ball´s gaffe to beat Thunder in OT|
|Federer expects ´athletic´ and ´attacking´ Tsitsipas clash|
|Alcacer is fit and available – Favre|
|Fantastic Federer breezes past Fritz|