[QODLink]
Football

Silence is golden for Real Madrid

After internal divisions capture the headlines, Real Madrid dodge press conference to focus on upcoming matches.

Last Modified: 10 May 2013 13:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mourinho (R) is spending his time talking to his assistants instead of the press [EPA]

Real Madrid decided against holding their traditional pre-match news conference on Friday in an apparent attempt to defuse the war of words between coach Jose Mourinho and members of his squad.

The nine-times European champions visit Espanyol on Saturday when a failure to win would gift leaders Barcelona their fourth La Liga title in five years.

Even if they do triumph, Barca only need two more points to secure the trophy, which they could achieve at third-placed Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Mourinho's dig at captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas a week ago, followed by defender Pepe's subsequent defence of his team mate last Saturday, has brought divisions within the dressing room to the fore.

"Perhaps now is the moment to say enough, to move on from the controversies with the boss, with Iker, with Pepe"

Real defender Sergio Ramos

Club president Florentino Perez took the rare step of entering the fray on Monday to call for unity for the last three weeks of the season, but Mourinho ignored his request and spoke out against Casillas and Pepe again on Tuesday.

The Bernabeu crowd cheered Casillas's name when it was read out among the substitutes before the 6-2 La Liga victory over Malaga on Wednesday, while Mourinho's was met with whistles and jeers from a large section of the stadium.

After the game, Spanish internationals Xabi Alonso and Raul Albiol both appealed for club unity ahead of the King's Cup final against Atletico Madrid on May 17th, which will be the side's last chance for major silverware this season.

Mourinho's future in the Spanish capital, despite him having a contract until 2016, has been the subject of a great deal of speculation since Real failed to reach the Champions League final last week.

The 50-year-old has done little to quash the rumours of his possible return to former club Chelsea, while his public attacks on Casillas and Pepe have been interpreted as further evidence that his time in Madrid is nearing the end.

"Perhaps now is the moment to say enough, to move on from the controversies with the boss, with Iker, with Pepe," Real defender Sergio Ramos, a senior figure in the squad, told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta at the Madrid Open tennis tournament on Thursday.

"It's a question of thinking only about the final which is the most important thing, and of trying to win it.

"Let's leave behind the controversy and the individual egos and focus on the union of the team which is fundamental, and without which success is impossible."

 

419

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.