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Juan Mata’s father made sure Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola never crossed paths in his Manchester restaurant.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata’s father has revealed Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho often ate at his restaurant in Manchester at the same time yet “he made sure they did not meet.”

Juan Manuel Mata, a businessman and football agent, opened Spanish restaurant Tapeo and Wine in Deansgate in 2016, two years after his son signed for the Red Devils from Chelsea.

Mourinho, who was sacked by Manchester United in December, was a regular customer during his two-and-a-half years in charge at Old Trafford. Guardiola, who arrived in Manchester at the same time to take over at crosstown rivals City, also frequents the eatery.

The pair have clashed many times on the touchline, but Mata Sr. told Cadena Cope radio that he always avoided any awkward encounters between the pair in front of other customers.

“Pep Guardiola comes here a lot,” he said. “He comes with his family, he is happy here. Jose Mourinho would come at least once every two weeks. Guardiola and Mourinho would coincide but I would make sure they wouldn’t meet so I’d put them in different private rooms.”

– Borden: Mourinho’s last stand

Guardiola is no stranger to the Manchester cuisine scene, having opened his own restaurant in June 2018 with Paco Perez, a top chef with five Michelin stars. Tast Cuina Catalana is a fine dining restaurant on Manchester’s King Street.

“Guardiola has a very good restaurant in Manchester but it’s a different style to this one,” Mata Sr. said. “It’s more Catalan.”

Unlike Guardiola’s restaurant, Tapeo and Wine shows Champions League games live on TV for their customers.

“There’s a big football atmosphere,” Mata Sr. said. “Not only does my son come to eat, but we also get David De Gea, Ander Herrera and other players. This restaurant is like having a small part of Spain in Manchester.”

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