The Chelsea boss had nothing but praise for his Newcastle counterpart, as the teams prepared to face each other on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Mourinho is a man and manager akin to marmite. It appears fans and fellow bosses alike either love or loathe him.
Much has been made of his rivalry with Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini this week, with the two exchanging not so subtle digs at each other in the national press. While Mourinho has also enjoyed difficult relationships with Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez, all leading managers in the game.
But one boss who will always be welcome for a glass of post match wine is Newcastle's Alan Pardew, and the two managers, who met in this afternoon's clash at Stamford Bridge, were open in their praise of each other ahead of the match.
When discussing Pardew's skills as a coach and career prospects, Mourinho said: “England – why not? Alan was manager of the season two years ago. In that unbelievable season he had at Newcastle, he deserved that.
"He put himself at that level. He’s one of the best managers in the Premier League."
Perhaps seeing something of himself in the Toon supremo, the Portuguese continued: "Alan lives the game with emotion. His teams reflect a guy who is enthusiastic.
“They are teams who always fight to the end. Alan is that kind of emotional guy. I have no problem with that.”
And proving that it's not a one way feeling, Pardew, who has had a difficult week compared to Mourinho, after the derby hammering to Sunderland and resignations of Joe Kinnear and Willie Donachie, was equally forthcoming with his praise of his rival.
“Most weeks there is a tactical masterclass from Mourinho," said the former West Ham boss. "He walks on water.
"I admire him because of what he has done in the game."
Would Pardew be a good England boss?
image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels