Forgot Password




Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications

Login using

Email Reset


Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Spain

Jose Mourinho © Action Images

Mourinho ends Barcelona's reign

In June 2010 Florentino Perez, ambitious president of Spanish giants Real Madrid, brought in the world's most expensive and controversial coach, Jose Mourinho, in order to end the domestic domination of Barcelona.

Perez knew that Mourinho would cost him a packet, in terms of salary for him and his troop of assistants, as well as transfer fees, and this is exactly what has happened.

He also knew that the Portuguese "Man of War" would ruffle a few feathers both in Madrid and in Barcelona - and he has certainly done that.

Perez also knew that Mourinho would demand more power within the club than any previous coach had been given. When these demands were made, a year ago, Perez quickly complied, sacking general director Jorge Valdano, Mourinho's internal enemy.

According to media reports, Perez has been exasperated with Mourinho's endless demands, with his persistent threats to leave - and with his countless scuffles with Valdano, the media and referees.

However, Perez was prepared to put up with all of this "sturm und drang" in order to end Barcelona's reign, and on Wednesday this objective was finally achieved when Mourinho guided Cristiano Ronaldo and company to a 3-0 romp at Athletic Bilbao - and Real's first Liga title since 2008.

It was the whites' 32nd league title, and left them 11 ahead of Barca.

This video is not available in your region

It has been achieved on a flood of goals, with Mourinho laying to rest his label as a defensive coach by establishing a new Spanish record of 115 goals, 44 of them put away by the remarkable Ronaldo.

The "Mou Team", as Ronaldo and company are known, might also establish a new Liga points record. If they win their last two games - away to Granada and at home to Mallorca - they will be the first Spanish team to reach the previously considered impossible total of 100 points.

Mourinho has managed to build a fast, young, physically strong team capable of soaking up pressure for long periods - then of hitting back powerfully and incisively on the break.

The spine of this team has been goalkeeper Iker Casillas - in excellent form despite his allegedly poor relations with Mourinho - centre-backs Pepe and Sergio Ramos, midfield anchorman Xabi Alonso and Ronaldo, winning games almost single-handedly with his astonishing bursts and drives.

Add to the mix four elegant artists like Marcelo, Mesut Oezil, Angel di Maria and Karim Benzema, plus hard-working artisans like Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain, and the end result is a sharp side capable of winning almost at ease in places like Bilbao, Osasuna, Malaga, Mallorca, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and, most importantly, Barcelona.

"Never before in Spain," commented Radio Marca early on Thursday, "has a team been so effective away from home, silencing the hostile crowds with a mass of goals."

The April 21 2-1 win at Barca virtually guaranteed Real the title, and saved them from having to endure a nail-biting. It also - according to sports dailies AS and Marca - convinced Barca coach Pep Guardiola that his reign was over, and that it was time to step down.

On Monday Guardiola denied that Real's impending triumph was a factor in his decision to stand down. However, the prospect of having to face Mourinho's keen team at least four times next season - twice in La Liga and twice in the Super Cup - could hardly have been an attractive proposition for him.

The only negative element on Real's balance sheet this season was their failure to reach the final of the Champions League. As Casillas admitted on Wednesday, "the only pity has been what happened in the Champions."

Ronaldo and company were 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich in the semifinal second leg on April 25, only to let the Bavarians back into the game and eventually crash out on penalties.

Mourinho's old defensive, cautious instincts seemed to betray him that night. Instead of going all out for what would have been a killer third goal, Real went backwards after taking the lead - and paid a heavy price for their conservatism.


Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
Xbox 360
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Sport Stories - Luis Suarez
Athletics - Day 5
Diving - Women's 10m Platform Final
Lawn Bowls - Men's Fours Sfs/women's Triples Bronze & Gold Medal Match

Sports Talk

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Football arms race
Those of us old enough to remember the arms race and the cold war years can’t help but feel the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home 'battered and bruised'
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...