Under-fire Mourinho laughs off Real jeers
Jose Mourinho shrugged off the whistles of the Real Madrid crowd on Sunday after reports emerged he was facing a player revolt.
Sports daily Marca had claimed the combustible Portuguese coach had accused some of his stars of betrayal by conducting a whispering campaign in the press in the aftermath of the midweek Copa del Rey defeat to bitter rivals Barcelona.
"You killed me in the mixed zone," Mourinho was reported to have said to his players, referring to the bustling area where media get the opportunity to talk to players after matches. "Obviously, as you Spanish are the world champions, your friends in the press will protect you."
Despite Real's 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, which preserved their five-point lead over Barcelona in the La Liga title race, Mourinho was still jeered by sections of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.
"This isn't a problem for me, it didn't happen when I was at Porto, Chelsea or Inter (Milan) but there is always a first time," said Mourinho. "Is it difficult? We played and we won. Here they have whistled at Zidane, Ronaldo and Cristiano (Ronaldo), who has the Golden Boot, so why can't they whistle at me?
"I will try and respond with my work. At Chelsea it would be difficult to accept the whistles but at a place where they whistle the best then who am I to say anything. I wasn't born a Madrid fan. I am a professional, the directors, the legal representatives of the fans, employ me and I have a great relationship with them."
Marca said that Mourinho had argued with defender Sergio Ramos, who he claimed had not marked Carles Puyol closely enough in Wednesday's 2-1 cup defeat, allowing the veteran Barcelona player to score the equaliser. The newspaper even reported the pair's heated exchange.
"Ramos: 'We decided to change the marking positions (with Pepe).'
"Mourinho: 'So you are trying to be the coach?'
"Ramos: 'No, but sometimes you have to change the marking in a match. As you have never worn the shirt as a high-level player, you wouldn't know that this situation sometimes presents itself.'"
After Sunday's game, Mourinho waved away the Marca allegations. "I don't read Marca. Even less on match days when I ban newspapers," he said.