Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has revealed his respect for Roma counterpart Jose Mourinho, declaring it good news for Serie A that the Portuguese boss has returned to Italy.
The experienced pair go head-to-head on Sunday in Turin, with Allegri's men sitting a disappointing seventh in the league standings going into the weekend, four points and three places behind the capital club.
Mourinho returned to take charge of a team in Italy this term for the first time since leaving Inter in 2010, having won Serie A in his first season and a remarkable treble in his second at San Siro.
Allegri believes the presence of such a character can only be positive for the league, despite an incident in 2018 when Mourinho – then managing Manchester United – taunted Allegri's Juventus and their fans after a 2-1 comeback win in 2018 by cupping his ear to the crowd.
"Mourinho is a coach who has won a lot and I respect him a lot," Allegri said. "It's in his character to, every now and then, do like he did with Manchester a few years ago.
"It pleases me to have a coach of his value back in Italy."
Despite offering such words for his counterpart, Allegri is determined to see his team come out on top as Juventus look to close the gap between themselves and league leaders Napoli, who have won every game.
"Juventus versus Roma is always a great match where there has often been controversy. There's Mourinho, who has given them character. They are ahead of us, and we must score points to not fall behind the best in the championship.
"We need to prepare well and turn the switch back on immediately after the break."
Preparations continued at the JTC on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday's #JuveRoma showdown— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 15, 2021