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Gary Lineker reveals mysterious secret feud with Jose Mourinho and fears football has ‘beaten him up over the years’

GARY LINEKER has revealed a mysterious secret feud with Jose Mourinho.

The Match of the Day host lifted the lid on his relationship with the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss.

Gary Lineker opened up on his relationship with Jose Mourinho

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Gary Lineker opened up on his relationship with Jose MourinhoCredit: Rex
Lineker revealed the pair had a great relationship before Mourinho turned sour

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Lineker revealed the pair had a great relationship before Mourinho turned sourCredit: Rex
But Lineker remains unsure what the cause of their rift was

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But Lineker remains unsure what the cause of their rift wasCredit: PA

Speaking on the Rest Is Football podcast, Lineker said that when Mourinho, 60, first arrived in England they had hit it off and would text each other “all the time”.

However, Lineker explained their relationship eventually turned sour, with the BBC presenter admitting he fears the beautiful game has “beaten him up a little over the years”.

He said: “I remember when he first came, he was this incredible personality, really engaging and I thought he was witty and he was funny. I think the game has beaten him up a little over the years.

“I did a little documentary with him, he used to text me all the time, he used to text me after Match of the Day, saying ‘you guys understand it, this is great.’

“We had been going along like that for two years and then something changed.”

What that “something” is remains a mystery to the ex-Barcelona, Tottenham and Leicester ace even to this day.

What is certain is the seemingly one-way feud started when Mourinho told organisers at an award ceremony he did not want to be presented with an award by Lineker.

The 63-year-old explained: “I was asked to present him with the Man of the Year award at the GQ Awards that they do every year.

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“They asked me to present the trophy and I said ‘yes, I’ll do that for Jose, of course.’

“Then about four days before the event, they got in touch and said ‘Jose has got in touch and he doesn’t want you to present the trophy to him, he wants someone that’s not in football.’

“I thought ‘hmmm, that’s a bit odd’ but I thought I’ll go along to the event anyway and I went up to Jose and he kind of blanked me.

“I went ‘are we okay, are we okay Jose?’ He went ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ But he wasn’t okay and he’s never been okay since.

“I do not know to this day whether it was something I said on Match of the Day, I genuinely have no idea. I interviewed him subsequently and he was very cold.”

This cold shoulder was made even clearer when Mourinho text former Man Utd CEO Ed Woodward to ask why he was talking to Lineker following a Champions League game.

Jose Mourinho now manages Roma

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Jose Mourinho now manages RomaCredit: Rex

Lineker added: “I remember doing a Champions League game which they didn’t do very well in.

“I went up to the director’s bit at Manchester United and I was having a drink with Ed Woodward, he’s a neighbour of mine so I know him really well.

“I’m stood there having a drink and Jose comes up but then he just wandered off. He sent a text to Ed Woodward, ‘why are you talking to him?’

“To this day, I don’t know what I did! It is a long time ago this happened but I don’t know what happened.”

After leaving the Red Devils Mourinho has graced the dugout at Tottenham and Roma, seeming to rediscover his trigger-fuse temperament in Italy.

The Portuguese was sent off along with three players during Wednesday’s heated Rome derby Coppa Italia quarter final against Lazio, which Mourinho’s side lost 1-0.

It was the second time he has been sent off in four days.

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