The same questions tend to linger over great teams in the modern age of soccer, or really any team sport. Are the players taking steroids, are they paid off, are the matches fixed, how honest was the ref, but in the end, these allegation are usually lots of huff and have very little substance. But Jose Mourinho, not know for a cool head or a quite demeanor may have taken it too far following last nights Real v. Barca fixture.
Already dubbed “El Farcico” by most of the daily papers, it was an ill-tempered match marred by diving, play-acting, and violence with several players and Mourinho being shown red. The match ended 2-0, with Messi firing in two goals to set up a trip Wembley for the Catalans, but the fuming Mourinho didn’t let it end there. He accused the Barcelona jersey clad men of receiving favors from UEFA, and refs as a whole, noting that every team who had played against them in the Champions League had ended with 10 men. But what he said next is sure to get him a ban for the final, if they even make it that far.
“If I tell Uefa what I really think and feel, my career would end now,” Mourinho said. “Instead I will just ask a question to which I hope one day to get a response: Why? Why? Why Ovrebo? Why Busacca? Why De Bleeckere? Why Stark? Why? Because every semi-final the same things happen. We are talking about an absolutely fantastic football team, so why do they need that? Why? Why does a team as good as they are need something [extra] that is so obvious that everyone sees it?
“Why Ovrebo [two] years ago [when the Norwegian referee did not give Chelsea a series of penalties against Barcelona]? Why couldn’t Chelsea go to the final? Last year it was a miracle that Inter got there playing with 10 men for so long. A miracle. Why weren’t there four penalties against Chelsea [in 2009]? Why send off [Arsenal’s Robin] Van Persie [in the last 16]? Where does their power come from?
“It could have been 0-0 tonight, but then suddenly we are down to 10 men and they have a free path to find solutions that they could not find before then: we could have played for three hours and they would not have scored. But today we have seen that it is not difficult – it is impossible.
“The question,” Mourinho continued, “is why? I don’t know if it is the Unicef sponsorship or if it is because they are nice guys. I don’t understand. Congratulations to Barcelona on being a great team and congratulations for all the other stuff you have which must be very hard to achieve. They have power and we have no chance. Chelsea had bans for Drogba and Bosingwa; Wenger and Nasri were banned for Arsenal; me today. I don’t know why. All I can do is leave that question here in the air and hope that one day I will get the response. They have to get to the final, and they’ll get there, full stop.”
Mourinho then sought to discredit Barcelona’s 2009 Champions League victory and a win this year.
“Josep Guardiola is a fantastic coach,” he said, “but I have won two Champions Leagues. He has won [only] one Champions League and that is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge and, if he wins it this year, it will be with the scandal of the Bernabéu. I hope that one day he can win a proper Champions League. Deep down, if they are good people, it cannot taste right for them. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal.”
Barcelona have responded to the Special One’s comments by threatening to report him to UEFA, confirming their board will meet to consider their options. “Barcelona’s legal department will study the declarations made by José Mourinho to determine whether to refer them to UEFA,” a club statement read. Honestly, I can’t see this not ending in a ban for him.
The problem with Mourinho’s theory is the same problem with an conspiracy theory, the simple fact is that the Champions League involves to many people and too many moving pieces to be fixed. Its like saying the whole of the US government was in on the Kennedy assassination, it would involve millions of people, and wouldn’t stay secret for long. A fixed league would involve not just the UEFA hierarchy, but the refs, and the retailers, and the sponsors. I mean Adidas can’t even keep their soccer shoe designs under wraps…do you really think they’d be in on fixing the Champions League and not leak it. In my opinion, its just ludicrous.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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