Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho deserves to be respected because he is “one of the best in the world”, says Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri.
United take on Mourinho’s former club at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with the Portuguese still under pressure to turn his side’s season around after four wins from their first eight games.
Mourinho has previously said there is a “manhunt” against him.
“We are talking about a coach who has won everything,” Sarri said.
“He has won everywhere. So I think I have to respect him, but I think also that you all have to respect him.
“He is a very good coach, a very good manager – one of the best in the world.”
In his news conference on Friday, Sarri also spoke about forward Eden Hazard’s future at the club, as well as “disgusting” online abuse faced by Chelsea Women midfielder Karen Carney.
‘He can win the Ballon d’Or here’ – Sarri on Hazard
Belgium midfielder Hazard, 27, has previously been linked with a move to Real Madrid, but this week said he would not join the La Liga club in the January transfer window.
But he did say he felt he needed to join Real in order to win the Ballon d’Or – something his manager disagreed with.
“He’s a fantastic player,” said Sarri. “And so it will be very important for us if he will remain with us. Very, very important.
“I think also he can win everything – also the Ballon d’Or – here, without playing in Spain.
“For example, if Chelsea were able to win the Champions League and Belgium won the European Championship, he would be able to win everything without playing in Spain.”
‘It is not acceptable’ – Sarri on Carney
England international Carney received death and rape threats on Instagram following Chelsea’s Champions League win over Fiorentina on Wednesday.
The user has been removed from Instagram, with the Football Association saying it is “appalled” and “dismayed”, but Carney will not be reporting it to police.
Chelsea described the abuse as “abhorrent and totally unacceptable”.
“I have seen the last match against Fiorentina,” Sarri said.
“She is a very good midfielder. What can I say about the situation? It is not acceptable. It’s disgusting.”