Rafa Benitez has labelled Marco Materazzi "a liar" after the former Inter Milan defender again slammed the Spaniard in an interview.
Benitez took charge of the Treble-winning Inter side in the summer of 2010, succeeding Jose Mourinho after his decision to depart for Real Madrid, but he endured a disappointing spell and left the club before the turn of the year.
In an interview with France Football this week, Materazzi said: "He is not my ideal coach. If I was a club president, I'd never employ him.
"A great boss like Lippi or Mourinho knows how to get their demands across to a dressing room whereas Benitez, he wanted to put them all in writing, ten or twelve rules - like the Highway Code, or being at school!
"At Inter's training centre, there were photos on the wall of all the most successful past coaches, from Herrera to Mancini and Mourinho. Benitez had the ones of Jose taken down. With that gesture, he showed his character: that of a weak person."
His remarks echo comments Materazzi had made to Sport Mediaset in November, when he said: "Mourinho was number one. His secret was to make the players feel involved in the project. In Madrid [during the 2010 Champions League final], he told me that he was leaving. I said to him: 'Damn you for leaving me with Benitez.'"
Chelsea boss Benitez, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of his side's Capital One Cup second leg with Swansea, hit out at the player.
"He's lying," Benitez said. "Marco Materazzi's lying. He's lying. Just lying. Everything he said is a lie. Everything that he talked about me, the things that he said about me, when he was talking with Jose Mourinho, is a lie because nobody knew that I was going to Inter - even me. He's a liar. About the pictures, he's lying, so he's a liar."