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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 14 October, 2019

Benzema demanded respect from Mourinho in hour-long showdown

The Portuguese compared having the Frenchman in attack to hunting with a cat, a comment that did not go down well with the striker.

Benzema was not happy when Mourinho compared him to a cat.
Benzema was not happy when Mourinho compared him to a cat.

KARIM BENZEMA HAS complained that his relationship with Jose Mourinho soured after the Portuguese mocked him.

The Manchester United manager spent three years in charge at the Bernabeu from 2010-13, where Benzema has played since making a €35 million move from Lyon in the summer of 2009.

Despite his status as a starter at one of the biggest clubs in the world, that did not make him immune from jibes delivered by the former Porto coach.

Speaking at a press conference in 2011, Mourinho took aim at the Frenchman. “If you don’t have a dog to go hunting but only have a cat, you have to take your cat. You’ll catch less, but you’ll catch something all the same,” he said.

Those words stung Benzema.

We always had a good relationship, but after that, there were expressions and statements that were not necessarily well intended,” the striker told Canal+.

“I had the impression that it made him laugh. Even if he’s someone I respect, after a while, I started to lose it.

I told him what I had to say, it took an hour. ’I'm a football player, you’re my coach, I respect you, respect me as a player’. From that moment on, there was no cat, no dog or whatever…

“I’m shy but if you make fun of me, I’ll be direct. And when you speak your mind, it’s true that things are always better.”

The 29-year-old enjoyed arguably his best spell at Madrid under Mourinho, scoring 78 goals in three seasons under him.

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