José Mourinho has carried on his tradition of getting under people’s skin wherever he goes, but this week he came under fire from two sides as he was labelled “ill-mannered” and a “rogue.”
First up was boss of Mediapro, Jaume Roures, whose company has the rights to televise El Clásico on Monday, 29 November. Roures was responding to Mourinho’s declaration that “he knew perfectly well the fixture would be played on a Monday, because I know who’s in control. I’m not stupid.” Roures countered by saying: “We’ve found a solution that lets both clubs go into it the match fully rested. Therefore, I would add that Mourinho thinks about this and doesn’t be so ill-mannered. The 80,000 people working in the elections will be able to see it, as there will be nothing else going on at the time. We thought about playing it on Monday from the very beginning; it was the best of the alternatives.”
The TV mogul was joined in his condemnation by Sporting Gijón manager Manolo Preciado, though for an entirely different reason. In a Friday press conference before his side play Real Madrid in El Molinón this weekend, Preciado was visibly upset after hearing Mourinho’s comments regarding his team’s 1-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou in September. The Portuguese claimed Preciado had fielded a weakened line-up and that “if teams gift Barcelona these games then it will be very difficult for us to win the league.”
Preciado pulled no punches in a scathing assessment of Mourinho. “I swear I wasn’t going to react to his comments at the time”, he said. “However, when I heard them again on El Larguero (TV programme) he had even elaborated on them. If it had been in England they’d have thrown him in jail. I prefer to look at it in three different ways. The first is that it was a joke, but if it wasn’t then I don’t like it. Another is that it was to try and provoke the manager of Barcelona, which is a delusion because he’s not going to respond. And lastly he is just a ‘rogue’ and a ‘bad person’.
The Sporting manager didn’t stop there: “I didn’t want to say anything because I don’t want to create a hostile atmosphere, but we are first and foremost sportsmen who also know how to win and lose. If nobody in Madrid tells this gentleman what respect is then I will. We deserve the same respect as he gets with all his titles”he added.
When asked whether or not he would greet Mourinho before the game, Preciado said: “I offer my hand to everybody, but I’m not going to keep quiet like an idiot forever. I’ve kept my mouth shut for two months because I liked this guy. Now I don’t like him so much. I’m a professional, but he doesn’t know me because he comes from another galaxy. At the moment he almost always wins but I don’t know if he knows how to do it gracefully. I think not. But one day he will lose; it’s a long fall from the top to the bottom and some people would like to see it – and I’ll tell him to his face.”
Dave Redshaw is the author of ‘Málaga Football Club – The Story.’