Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola pledge to bury the hatchet... for now

Ross McLean
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Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga
The duo endured a fractious relationship while in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona (Source: Getty)

Adversaries Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have pledged to contain their historic animosity towards each other when they reprise their rivalry during Monday’s Manchester derby in Beijing.

United and City go head-to-head tomorrow afternoon in the International Champions Cup as preparations for the new Premier League season, which starts on Saturday 13 August, intensify.

It will be the first time the duo have crossed swords in four years, since Mourinho was manager of Real Madrid and Guardiola was in charge of rivals Barcelona, a period where relations were rarely unstrained.

Asked if he would shake Guardiola’s hand, former Chelsea boss Mourinho said: “To qualify the question I would use some impolite words. Of course, I shake his hand. Why shouldn’t we?

“I don’t understand the question to him and I don’t understand the question to myself. We worked together in Barcelona for three years. We were opponents in other clubs but we are just professionals and we have normal relations.

“Why shouldn’t we shake hands? I don’t see the reason for the question.”

Ex-Bayern Munich manager Guardiola was of a similar mindset and insisted there would be no hangover from their time as direct opponents in Spain as the pair bid to draw first blood across the Manchester divide.

“Of course, we are polite guys,” said Guardiola. “Why not? Why should he not shake my hand? No reason why. He wants to win, I want to win, that’s all. But it’s a friendly game – a really friendly game.”