Mourinho: Guardiola rivalry has eased

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho played down his rivalry with City boss Pep Guardiola.

Mourinho and Guardiola had numerous battles during their time in Spain when in charge of bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

Ahead of United's meeting with Manchester City at the International Champions Cup on Thursday, Mourinho said the competitiveness of the Premier League meant those clashes were never likely to be repeated.

"In Spain, it is two clubs fighting against each other. Now Atletico Madrid is also close, but in our time, it was just about us," he said.

"For three years, it was just about us. Champions League matches, La Liga titles, Copa del Rey finals, Super Cup finals. Everything was about Real and Barcelona.

"We were in a situation of it being not easy. In England, I knew before it happened that it would be completely different, because it's a completely different league."

Mourinho believes the timing in Spain led to the rivalry, with Madrid desperately trying to end Barcelona's dominance.

"I think the way we both behaved, I think make it also blow in that direction. Many people would think wrongly that we had a personal situation, to which we always told 'no'," he said.

"It was just the consequence of being in Barcelona and Real Madrid in a specific period of their history.

"Barcelona was in the top. Real Madrid was in the low and trying to come and break that Barcelona dominancy."