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

Football | Spain

Jose Mourinho © Reuters Images

Under-fire Mourinho turns fifty



Under-fire Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho again chose not to face the Madrid-based media as he celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday but told Italian TV he was certain he would win at least one more Champions League title before he retires.

Mourinho's Real side have stuttered in the first half of the season and the combative Portuguese has been at loggerheads with the Spanish press, who have been quick to seize on any sign of disharmony off the pitch.

Coverage of the Spanish champions was dominated this week by a report in Marca sports daily that club captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had threatened to leave along with several teammates unless Mourinho was dismissed.

Real president Florentino Perez said the newspaper was lying and trying to destabilise the club but Marca has stuck by the story, the latest in a string of reports suggesting all is not well between the coach and some leading players.

Performances have been erratic and Real have slipped 15 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, whom they host on Wednesday in the first leg of their King's Cup semifinal.

Elimination followed by defeat by Manchester United in the looming Champions League last 16 tie would almost certainly end Real's hopes of silverware this season and increase the pressure on Perez to replace Mourinho, lured at great expense from Inter Milan in 2010.

While Mourinho, who has barely spoken to reporters since the turn of the year, again opted not to give the customary news conference the day before a Real game, a television interview with him was broadcast on Saturday by Italy's RAI.

He said he did not know if he would add to the Champions League titles he won with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010 while Real coach but a third would certainly come.

"What I cannot say is whether I will achieve it this season, but in the 15 or 20 years left in my coaching career I will do it," he said.

His first 50 years had passed very quickly, he added, before opening the door to a possible return to Inter.

"In any case, 50 is a nice number which allows you to assess all that has happened," he said.

"There are a lot of things still to be done and one may be returning to Inter, why not?"

LOSING IKER

Raphael Varane, Real's 19-year-old French centre back, was sent out instead of Mourinho to answer reporters' questions ahead of Sunday's home La Liga game against Getafe and he said Mourinho had the players' full support.

"We are all behind the coach who is the best in the world," Varane said.

"The media are being tough on him but he is doing a good job and all this is not necessary."

Varane added that the squad had given Mourinho a signed photograph taken during the wild celebrations after they sealed the La Liga title by beating Athletic Bilbao last season.

Real have a number of injury problems ahead of the Getafe match and Wednesday's Cup game, with Casillas sidelined for up to three months with a broken hand and Varane's fellow centre back Pepe still recovering from ankle surgery.

"Losing Iker could destabilise the team but I don't think it will change all that much," Varane said.

Real have brought in Diego Lopez from Sevilla as cover for Casillas and the former Spain keeper was included in the squad for the Getafe game.



Comments

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

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Segun Odegbami
CAF in need of a storm
Any one living in Nigeria would not have been immune from the impact of the Buhari political storm...

Collins Okinyo
Don't blame Yaya for City's failure
Footballers have a thankless job because one minute everyone is praising you and the next everybody...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Are refs favouring certain teams?
There has long been a suspicion that certain referees are favouring certain teams. At least that’s...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Mou faces LVG, Wenger waits to pounce
Going into the weekend round of matches, Chelsea sit top of the Premier League in England with 73...

Sunday Oliseh
Why Klopp may struggle at English clubs
Seven years ago, 2008, a relatively unknown from Mainz 05, Jurgen Klopp, became coach at Germany’s...

Neil Tovey
Schut leaves a legacy
Having spent three years in South Africa plying his trade for Sundowns, Alje Schut will bid the PSL...