Guardiola launches tirade at ‘fucking’ Jose Mourinho
Barcelona’s famously level-headed coach loses his cool ahead of Champions League semi-final against Real
Barcelona football coach Pep Guardiola appears to have well and truly risen to Jose Mourinho's bait ahead of his team's Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Normally the epitome of calm, Guardiola reacted furiously to his rival's pre-match verbal sparring, launching a remarkable tirade in which he twice mockingly called Mourinho "the fucking man".
Tensions have been running high as Spain's two top teams prepare to meet for the third time in ten days to fight for a place in the Champions League final. And it was Mourinho who was the first to draw blood. Referring to Real's triumph over Barca in the Copa del Ray last week – after which Guardiola said his team could have won were it not for "the linesman's good eyesight" after a Pedro goal was rightly ruled offside - Mourinho accused the Spaniard of criticising the referee for making the correct decision.
It was a classic Mourinho jibe, loosely based on fact and clearly designed to provoke; the type Guardiola has been serenely ignoring all season. But, as Barcelona's coach took his seat in the Real's Bernabeu pressroom on Tuesday night, he was clearly riled.
"As Mourinho has spoken candidly about me, used my name and called me 'tu' [an informal reference], then I will do the same," he told the room. He then asked journalists to point out which of the gathered cameras was "Mourinho's camera", before embarking on his rant.
"Tomorrow at 8.45 we will play a match on the pitch," Guardiola said. "Off the field, he has won the entire year, the entire season and it will be the same in the future. He can have his personal Champions League off the pitch. Let him enjoy it, I'll let him have that. But this is a game. When it comes to sport we will play. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. We are happy with smaller victories, and hope the world will admire us as it makes us very proud."
He then began aiming barbs at Mourinho, whose rivalry with Barca dates back to his days when he was manager of Chelsea. Guardiola brought up several key decisions in games between teams managed by the Portuguese and Barcelona. He also took a dig at the Special One's extensive backroom staff.
The Barca boss continued: "Here [in Real Madrid's press room], he is the chief, the fucking man. In here he is the fucking man and I can't compete with him. If Barcelona want someone who competes in that way, then they should look for another manager. But we, as people and an institution, don't do that.
"I have been here for three years, and if you think I always moan, make excuses and complain, then there's nothing I can do about that."
It was an extraordinary outburst from Guardiola, who was a player at the Camp Nou during Mourinho's time as a Barcelona coach, and it was clear that he had been needled by the Real Madrid boss.
"A new era has begun," Mourinho had said earlier. "Until now there were two groups of coaches. One very, very small group of coaches that don't speak about refs and then a big group of coaches, of which I am part, who criticise the refs when they have mistakes – people like me who don't control their frustration but also people who are happy to value a great job from a ref.
"Now there is a third group, which is just [Guardiola], that criticises referees when they get decisions right... I am not asking the referee to help my team. If the referee is good everyone will be happy – except Guardiola. He wants them to get it wrong." ·
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