Ever since the bitter expulsion of Chelsea from the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League 2008-09, Jose Mourinho has been extra caustic with his remarks about FC Barcelona. Not that he’s courteous to others, but his ‘affection’ for FC Barcelona is a little more than the rest.

Jose Mourinho and FC Barcelona go a long way back. The Portuguese learnt his trade at the Catalan club, as Sir Bobby’s translator, and after a hiatus of about 14 years has come back to Spain, to earn his bread by applying his tricks against his old masters. The illustrious Portuguese has managed in 3 different countries before moving to Spain and has undoubtedly been successful.

Jose started his career, as a manager, at Benfica. Vindictive as he is, Jose refused to work with Jesualdo Ferreira, who was his mentor at Instituto Superior de Educação Física (ISEF), and even snubbed the senior Portuguese by saying, “This could be the story of a donkey who worked for 30 years but never became a horse.” Despite being offered the position of assistant manager at Newcastle United, Mourinho stayed put at the Estádio da Luz. Due to some internal political turmoil, Mourinho tested the integrity of the newly elected president by asking for a contract extension. On being refused, Jose left Benfica midway into the season without many qualms. The itinerant manager accepted an offer from União de Leiria and took them to one of their highest domestic league positions. This was however not unseen by bigger clubs and FC Porto bagged him soon after.

Mourinho’s rise to stardom isn’t anything short of folklore. He took the Portuguese giants to the dizzy heights of winning the UEFA Champions League in 2003-04. Newer challenges awaited him and Mourinho did not disappoint. Russian billionaire, Roman Abrahimovic, entrusted Mourinho with the Chelsea revolution and the Portuguese made them one of the finest sides in England. Despite not being able to make any significant impact on the continental level, Chelsea was regarded by many as a team of the future. The conceited side of the Portuguese got the better of him and resulted in his termination which is often termed as “mutual consent.”

Jose moved to Inter Milan where he won everything and finally is now at the Spanish capital, mentoring a beleaguered Real Madrid, struggling to come out of the shadow of an all-conquering FC Barcelona. Despite being extremely successful, Jose has always failed to maintain his dignity and went out of his way to make scathing remarks at his oppositions. Some answered him off the field and some on it. The enigmatic figure that he is, Mourinho often yields to the temptation to provoke.

Mordant Mourinho has always ‘praised’ FC Barcelona in his own Special way. “If I am hated at Barcelona, it is their problem but not mine. Fear is not a word in my football dictionary,” said the volatile Portuguese. The reason for this assumed hatred might be his uncouth celebration at the Camp Nou after Inter Milan got the better of FC Barcelona over two legs. Mourinho ran almost the entire pitch; however, the Portuguese acted quite contrary to his nature in the recent 5-0 thrashing of his team at the Camp Nou and hid in the safety of the dugout. One can only wonder what might lead to such contrasting behaviour. The entire Camp Nou called out for Jose and the Portuguese did not oblige. Was it indifference or fear? As admitted by the man himself, the word ‘FEAR’ isn’t in his football dictionary, indifference towards his team’s loss can be a reason. “It’s easy to digest because it’s a defeat in which there was no chance of winning,” said Mourinho. This further substantiates the doubt.

Reason to hate?

Real Madrid is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated clubs on the planet. However, the Blancos couldn’t get the better of FC Barcelona for quite some time now, even after investing a whopping £224.8 million. Mr. Perez finally went a step further to sign the ‘best manager’ – Jose Mourinho. The usually outspoken Portuguese, who is otherwise very defensive in his approach, assured that the Los Blancos would play attacking football. It’s no rocket science that a team comprising of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Benzema would surely play attacking football. If compared to Manuel Pellegrini’s record the previous season (till the first 20 league matches), Real Madrid netted 47 times to Jose’s men, who notched up just a goal more (48). The point to be emphasized is that Cristiano Ronaldo, the freest scoring Real Madrid player as of now, wasn’t entirely available last year. What is interesting to note is that Jose Mourinho, who is known for his pesky defensive tactics, couldn’t stop teams from scoring against his side. Real Madrid in 2010-11 conceded 17 times whereas Pellegrini’s men let in just 15 times. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Pellegrini’s side never got whitewashed at the hands of FC Barcelona. And more so, there wasn’t any report of dressing room unrest, which is incessant this season. Either the Chilean was a good man manager or he had the ability to keep things out of the reach of the media. Sadly, Mourinho isn’t good at either. So how an ostentatious Jose Mourinho is an improvement over the docile Chilean? It is indeed very difficult to comprehend. Maybe Madridistas will have an answer.

At a club like Real Madrid, a manager isn’t given the liberty that others enjoy in other leagues. Right from the inception, Jose didn’t fit into this ideology. Starting from his inept ability to taunt his opponents, not to tolerate anyone above him in the club hierarchy, Mourinho and Real Madrid are just like chalk and cheese. His recent bust-up with Valdano bears testimony to the fact. Apart from internal issues, the Portuguese also has time to talk about his opponents – especially FC Barcelona. Not only does he make his odium apparent, but also goes to the extent to jeer them. Ridiculous claims like referees supporting FC Barcelona, Guardiola receiving preferential treatment, oppositions fielding weaker teams against Barca, etc. can only give Barca fans a reason to practice – “Laughter is the best medicine.

The Portuguese claimed that he wouldn’t be coaching Barcelona, ever – much to the delight of the Catalans. A manager like Mourinho will not only stifle the Barcelona philosophy of playing football the way it should be played, but will also stunt the growth of young stars from the famed La Masia. German legend Kaiser Beckenbauer went to the extent of calling Portuguese uneducated. It’s not without a reason that a dignified football icon does so. “He has been rude and with no education in his behaviour to achieve his objectives,” said the celebrated German. Even the legendary Sir Alex got exasperated by Mourinho’s tendency to speak out of turn.

Mourinho v Sir Alex Ferguson

The insolent Portuguese went to the extent of calling Wenger ‘a voyeur – much to the chagrin of the English and world media. The hypocritical camaraderie that exists between Ronaldo and Mourinho is purely circumstantial. The former Manchester United winger once criticised Mourinho and now doesn’t mind going gaga over him. Apart from these, respectable icons like Rafael Benitez, Massimo Allegri amongst others too have not spoken of Mourinho in a way that would sound pleasing to the ear. Why is it that these men had to speak about Mourinho and not anybody else? Mourinho-faithfuls might be of the opinion that it could have been a way to garner attention. If at all such answers creep up, it’ll be hilarious, to say the least.

It’s a widely understandable, yet unstated, that Jose was brought to give FC Barcelona a run for their money. Madridistas might deny this vehemently; but what else could have been the reason to bring in someone who isn’t doing anything better than what Pellegrini did? However, there are a few aspects where Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho cannot overtake FC Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. First being the mindless spending. The players that were there, before the current crop of Galacticos came in, were competent enough to win all major competitions. Secondly, Mourinho’s infirmity to groom the youth was a factor. Madrid has had many of their promising young talents leaving for other clubs in search of more playing time. If the recently signed Adebayor’s deal is made permanent in summer, who knows Morata might just land up in Getafe in 2011-12.

Pep can give Mourinho a lesson or two in humility

Third and the most important is humility! Jose Mourinho is way behind Guardiola. Pro-Madrids might argue that Guardiola is unproven in other leagues. So is Sir Alex. Does that make him any less a legend? And what makes them think that Guardiola will not be successful in other leagues? Guardiola’s chances of making it in other leagues are as much as Mourinho’s, before he moved to English moneybags – Chelsea.  Guardiola’s harsh self-criticism percolated into the ethos of the team and as a result of which FC Barcelona strives to improve their game, week after week. This self criticism also makes it easier to score over Mourinho, as the Catalans have someone who can definitely claim their share of the limelight and allow them a breather. This in a way is not only convivial but also helps the reigning Spanish champions to work towards their ultimate goal – silverware via beautiful football.

32 Responses to “FC Barcelona’s Corner: A ‘Real’ Adversary?”

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  1. Anirvann says:

    A very well written article, speaks volumes about the author’s ‘love’ for Mourinho and shows what Jose Mourinho really is, totally uncouth!! It also makes us wonder what is the recipe for instant success. Will the youth of a club always have to suffer if the club aspires for instant success after a long spell of drought??

    One point missed out is the love the players for JMou. Every club he deserts ends up in the darkness (even clubs with which he isnt related end up not being able to repeat their previous year’s feats), but then again he must be SOLELY blamed for a club not being able to live up to the benchmark set. Then again, why is there no love lost between his previous club’s players and him??

    I so wish he could be taught a lesson or two in humility so that he would not celebrate by running the entire length of the pitch like he did after defeating Barcelona and not give Valdes the chance to vent his frustrations. I wish he would retract his words where in he mentioned catalunia to be a place of culture and theater when del horno bulldozed messi onto the ground and left him wreathing in pain. Had he not said that he would not have had to encounter the de ja vu of Sergio’s PEEK-A-BOO!!

    I wish he would promote the youth of the club and stop searching for instant glory. I wish Real Madrid had the core of their team comprise of players from Castilla like Barcelona has their core built on their youth (barring only (the former) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henry and (the current) David Villa,Dani Alves, Eric Abidal, Maxwell, Mascherano and Adriano).

    Since facts are being taken to count can it be denied that Real Madrid inspite of letting in more number of goals are playing a more attacking brand of football under Mourinho than it did while it was managed by Pellegrini? After all the RM hierarchy just dont want to win, they want to win in style!

    Why is it that this loud mouth has delivered so many a times? Is it plain luck or is it that this loud mouth makes his own luck?? If it is the former then has his luck run out when he chose to manage RM. And if it is the latter, then doesnt he deserve to continue on his own way? Are we asking a man to let go of his identity and still be himself?

    What ever it is, HATE HIM OR LOVE HIM, YOU JUST CANO|NOT IGNORE HIM! Hence the article! :)

  2. Raunakbiswas says:

    I must say, some people must understand and respect the way Madrid goes about their business. Real Madrid is NOT F.C. Barcelona and there is no intention whatsoever to emulate their policy. The same with Morinho, hes one of a kind.
    Jonny Cash once wrote,
    “Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
    Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
    Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
    Listen to the words long written down
    When the man comes around.”
    There is no single defined way to success, we all have our methods. No matter which path we choose there is only one certainty, its always a long and winding road. Madrid has experienced every success within and beyond footballing realms. No mere mortal can ever erase a legacy. If anything, every footballing organisation wants to emulate their success. It is an institution for the most special and talented footballers, generation after generation. Its a dream.
    Morinho maybe insolent, Ronaldo an arrogant hypocrite but would I have them any other way? You can bet your bottom dollar, NOT.
    I am a Madrid fan, we are a little battered and bruised. We may keep losing for centuries to come, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. “Till Armageddon, no shalam, no shalom.”
    Its the way we are built. Its the way we live. We were criticized when we won everything, we are critized and jeered when we don’t and we live with it.

  3. A_Blaugrana says:

    We are sore losers, and we don’t deny that. Even Roger Federer is. The point is we don’t make flase claims. Jose claimed that he loves attacking brand of football. Ha ha… what a joke. Everybody knows that he’s extremely defensive (yeah he attacks at times but that cannot be branded as attacking football)
    The way he jeers the crowd after getting a goal against them. A goal that he had to get with the help of the top players of the world, still only one goal, and he had to go and jeer the crowd and the opposition dug-out…
    I have always maintained my stance as far as spending money is concerned. No club can thrive without spending. Abrahimovic splashed all the cash possible to make Chelsea one of the strongest clubs in Europe and so did Perez. Yes, we have had a few transfers going hither and thither, but which club doesn’t have that…
    If every manager gets a bottomless purse at his disposal, he’ll always deliver. JMo had always had the backing of such managers/clubs who were desperate for Success. At Real it’s different. He has to get success the RealMadrid-way which isn’t exactly is his forte as he’s not flexible to mend his ways. He still wants more players (stars) to win titles.

    Yes, Mourinho cannot be ignored, but that makes him equivalent to a Rakhi Sawant, always keen to hog the limelight. Where’s the panache, the swagger, the aristocracy that is expected of a REAL champion and a manager of Real Madrid.
    And how is he an improvement over Pellegrini? The stats speak for themselves. Don’t they?

  4. A Football fan. says:

    This articles as it is i guess was written by a blaugrana fan and a mourinho hater.!!!! But mourinho loves being hated because haters throw challenges at him and every time they did that he conquered them with unstoppable ruthlessness. People call barcelona style as some eternal or divine form of football or something but they fail to understand that when barca are out of ideas they play the most negative form of football i.e passing the ball in their own half!!!(pique and valdes play the ball between them as if they are on a training ground amongst themselves!!!) you may call this the way they trick or pull out the opposition players out of their positions but when barca are out of ideas, they are the most negative. agreed that they don’t seem negative now because they are scoring a hell a lot of goals and teams naturally to counter them have to be defensive if barca has their style of play then other teams have their own style of play to counter them. I don’t understand this basic misconception or disbelief among football fans that they feel playing the attacking style of football is the most beautiful and the most artful form of play. But actually it is NOT. defensive style of play requires equal composure and art to perfect if not more.(ask the Italians). So accept football as it is and don’t brand it into different forms and by which u end up criticizing a certain brand for the whole of your life, then u will not be appreciating football as a whole and will only do it half. And people call ronaldo hypocritical doesn’t it happen with almost all the players in football. these arguments or ranters at each other are common in the footballing world and they mite end up on the same side some day but they will not sit and fight then too right?? they will move on and think about the most important thing that is football. accepted or not ronaldo is one of the most gifted players in modern day football. real under mourinho compared to real under pellegrini have been far more decisive in their approach which was lacking in the latter. Real Madrid are the most successful club in the world and the blaugrana have still a lot of ground to make if they have to equal the madrid trophy cabinet. As in one of the above comments, Real are hated when they win, real are hated when they loose, but one thing is they will never stop WINNING. Guardiola inherited a well oiled side but mourinho inherited a newly assembled one and yet managed to keep the second position and also break the copa del rey jinx and made them to perform better in the champions league!!! Give that man sometime, not as much as any of the other managers got because mou doesnt need that much.Ask any of his previous players (wesley sneijder, frank lampard, drogba, all of them treat as a true mentor and say that they are forever indebted to him). Something was quoted about man management skills of mourinho, when it comes to man management and preserving his players from all the wrong media attention, mourinho ranks amongst the best. this is one most important reason why he could enjoy such unprecedented success in various leagues. So instead of throwing allegations at him, accept him as the person he is, a different mind in the world of football. I would like to request the author of this article to be a bit more unbiased while writing his next.

    • A_Blaugrana says:

      Point 1: . People call barcelona style as some eternal or divine form of football or something but they fail to understand that when barca are out of ideas they play the most negative form of football i.e passing the ball in their own half!!!(pique and valdes play the ball between them as if they are on a training ground amongst themselves!!!)

      Justification: Keeping the ball in possession is far better than trying to injure or opponents or to bring him down by fouling him. And also keeping the ball in possession for long requires a high level of skill which I guess the oppositions don’t possess. That’s ART.

      Point 2: . I don’t understand this basic misconception or disbelief among football fans that they feel playing the attacking style of football is the most beautiful and the most artful form of play. But actually it is NOT. defensive style of play requires equal composure and art to perfect if not more.(ask the Italians).

      Justification: Nobody here complained about negative football. In fact Pep Guardiola highly praised Inter’s defense after the semi finals… Italians were the masters, no doubt about that. I guess you are getting ideas from fabricated interviews…

      Point 3: accepted or not ronaldo is one of the most gifted players in modern day football.

      Justification: Who ever denied that? It’s ridiculous to say that Ronaldo isn’t one of the best. The author never said anything of that sort… In fact in one place he mentioned that CR7 is the “the freest scoring Real Madrid player as of now.” That is showing respect, isn’t it?

      Point 4: real under mourinho compared to real under pellegrini have been far more decisive in their approach which was lacking in the latter

      Justification: 96/07 points, 100+ goals, still the intent was lacking??? Please elaborate !!!

      Point 5: Real Madrid are the most successful club in the world and the blaugrana have still a lot of ground to make if they have to equal the madrid trophy cabinet. As in one of the above comments, Real are hated when they win, real are hated when they loose, but one thing is they will never stop WINNING

      Justification: Aaahhh… the same old “WE-ARE-THE-BEST-CLUB-YET WE-DON’T-GO-BEYOND-R16-IN-UCL” chant… Lolzzz… If only Barcelona had a FRANCO. And one more thing, this superiority complex of Real Madrid is the main hindrance between them and silverware… Shed it, and you guys have a fabulous team to win any trophy…

      Point 6: Real Madrid are the most successful club in the world and the blaugrana have still a lot of ground to make if they have to equal the madrid trophy cabinet. As in one of the above comments, Real are hated when they win, real are hated when they loose, but one thing is they will never stop WINNING

      Justification: Guardiola won everything (yes, EVERYTHING) in his very first season after a disastrous 2007-08… Yet you say he received well-oiled machinery… Yes we had a lot of youth team guys, so who asked Real not to groom castilla players… Who asked them to go for SUPERSTARS and win NOTHING? Even the last Galacticos weren’t extremely successful (Not even remotely close to Pep’s Barcelona) after spending millions…. Stop making excuses and groom your castilla players… They are the future. The sooner you (and Real Madrid) understand this, the better it is…

      Point 7: Something was quoted about man management skills of mourinho, when it comes to man management and preserving his players from all the wrong media attention, mourinho ranks amongst the best. this is one most important reason why he could enjoy such unprecedented success in various leagues.

      Justification: Then why are we having so much going on between Valdano and JMo, between Ramos, CR7 and Casillas?

      • A Football fan. says:

        “Keeping the ball in possession is far better than trying to injure or opponents or to bring him down by fouling him. And also keeping the ball in possession for long requires a high level of skill which I guess the oppositions don’t possess. That’s ART.”

        if keeping the ball is art then denying the players the same is also ART so i never denied that possession is art but emphasized that defense is also an ART and one should not call it negative as in the above article.

        “and also any manager who gets owners whose pockets have no end will win it and even given time mancini will win it”

        david villa, ibra, and many more did not come for FREE!!!!

        “Then why are we having so much going on between Valdano and JMo, between Ramos, CR7 and Casillas? ”

        Ask sneijder, drogba, or anyone else from his previous clubs and they treat him like a MENTOR!!! thats a testimonial to his man management and the above examples u quoted are because of bad media and no one will know what had really transpired in that dressing room. and anyways PEP and IBRA??

        “Guardiola won everything (yes, EVERYTHING) in his very first season after a disastrous 2007-08… Yet you say he received well-oiled machinery… Yes we had a lot of youth team guys, so who asked Real not to groom castilla players… Who asked them to go for SUPERSTARS and win NOTHING? Even the last Galacticos weren’t extremely successful (Not even remotely close to Pep’s Barcelona) after spending millions…. Stop making excuses and groom your castilla players… They are the future. The sooner you (and Real Madrid) understand this, the better it is…”

        when i mean well oiled then i mean that they have played together from a very young age!!! and if grooming players is barca’s method then buying players is Real’s why do you question and make such a big deal out of it!!! real never complained about barca’s methods then why are you questioning there’s??? Barca has been winning consistently only in the past 3 or 4 years but the white army has been doing it for decades. and as Sir Alex puts it, its a transition period and given some time this team can be as devastating as barca if not more.AC milan did it too so making a big deal about money is not advisable.

        Justification: Aaahhh… the same old “WE-ARE-THE-BEST-CLUB-YET WE-DON’T-GO-BEYOND-R16-IN-UCL” chant… Lolzzz… If only Barcelona had a FRANCO. And one more thing, this superiority complex of Real Madrid is the main hindrance between them and silverware… Shed it, and you guys have a fabulous team to win any trophy…

        we dont go beyond the last 16 in UCL,?? Real have won it nine times whereas barca has won it three times so i guess there is no competition whatsoever there.

        “Justification: 96/07 points, 100+ goals, still the intent was lacking??? Please elaborate !!!”

        The intent to grind out results is what i meant and the intent to kill games off!!!!

        Its better to accept mourinho as he is rather than point at his -ve points.

        • A_Blaugrana says:

          Point 1: if keeping the ball is art then denying the players the same is also ART so i never denied that possession is art but emphasized that defense is also an ART and one should not call it negative as in the above article.

          Answer: Lolzz…. Then all the teams playing against Barcelona are artictic… Including Real Madrid on 29th November 2010 :)
          Defense is always an art and it has not been criticized here…

          Point 2: david villa, ibra, and many more did not come for FREE!!!!

          Answer: Yes, they didn’t come for free, but we didn’t spend more than 200 million at one go :)

          Point 3: Ask sneijder, drogba, or anyone else from his previous clubs and they treat him like a MENTOR!!! thats a testimonial to his man management and the above examples u quoted are because of bad media and no one will know what had really transpired in that dressing room. and anyways PEP and IBRA??

          Answer: Mourinho has had problems with Roman, Valdano, Moratti (and of late with Balotelli, however, considering Balotelli here won’t be appropriate)… Pep and Ibra is one off incident… however, Pep maintained his dignity by not speaking a word… And when only one side does all the talking it’s pretty understandable…

          Point 4: when i mean well oiled then i mean that they have played together from a very young age!!! and if grooming players is barca’s method then buying players is Real’s why do you question and make such a big deal out of it!!! real never complained about barca’s methods then why are you questioning there’s??? Barca has been winning consistently only in the past 3 or 4 years but the white army has been doing it for decades. and as Sir Alex puts it, its a transition period and given some time this team can be as devastating as barca if not more.AC milan did it too so making a big deal about money is not advisable.

          Answer: Barca never EXACTLY questioned Real’s policy. It’s just mentioned that JMO has had a huge amount of money at his disposal and hence success came in the easier way…
          Real Madrid winning for decades is an age old story… If such records are to be considered, then I guess Real Madrid would be playing ALONE in all the competitions in Europe. Real won the bulk of their silverware with Franco in charge… As a dictator, he usually made things easier for the Blancos and moreover the Royal Family of Spain too had a huge backing. No wonder Real Madrid won so many…. If you guys feel that you won all those silverwares without sabotage, then why can’t you do it today, especially when you have all the ‘best’ players in the world?

          Point 5: we dont go beyond the last 16 in UCL,?? Real have won it nine times whereas barca has won it three times so i guess there is no competition whatsoever there.

          Answer: Like I said, Real won a bulk of those trophies under Franco… What happened after that? At that rate they should have accumulated about 20 European Cups, but it’s not the case… And if trophies are a yardstick to measure a club then Chelsea/Inter Milan stands nowhere, yet they are huge clubs… So my suggestions is don’t hold on to your past, come back to the present… try to win something… All the best…

          Point 6: The intent to grind out results is what i meant and the intent to kill games off!!!!
          Answer: With 100+ goals, a club wants to Grind out games??? Strange…. Even Barca didn’t have as many goals when they killed off games. This somehow manifests the mindset, which isn’t used to winning…

          Point 7: Its better to accept mourinho as he is rather than point at his -ve points.

          Answer: To each his own. If Barcelona supporters cannot accept Mourinho, then that shouldn’t be much of a concern to anybody. Everybody is entitled to have his/her opinion. Isn’t it?

          • Rak Zidane says:

            First of all if you talk about FRANCO then the current president of the spanish football governing body is an ardent fan of barcelona and the catalans!!! (this is not told by madridistas at all and is voiced by many in the whole of spain!!!(souce: la liga forums!!!)) and i guess i read some article saying the same on this very website!!!

            and the question about grinding out games, its not the question of scoring 100 goals but its the question of winning the most number of games, no matter how tough the competition is. remember madrid were beaten by milan thge last time out but this time the white army showed who is superior!!!

            I have no problems in people voicing out their opinions, but my request was when somebody was writing n article on a public platform he/she must realise that its basic to be unbiased!!!

            my justification where i specified that real have won the cl nine times came when you had mentioned about the last 16 UCL jinx if you so want to be in the present then pick up those sort of comments only after we know the results of this year’s last 16.

            FYI, mourinho never had any spats with moratti, moratti gave mourinho all he wants and reaped the rewards. roman had a difference of opinion with mou because roman was too obsessed with the european cup. and the one with valdano has happened for sure but was blown out of proportions by the media frenzy which surrounds real.

            FYI, Pep had a bust up with sandro rossell too!!!

            They did not spend it at one go : agreed they did not, but yet they had spent so much in a very short span of time though!!!!

            they broke transfer records for many signings!!!!

          • A_Blaugrana says:

            Okay… Peace from my side…
            Pep vs Mourinho, Real Madrid v FC Barcelona, (subsequently Messi v Ronaldo) will continue… Do you have an answer as to who is the best? Do I have an answer as to who is the best?
            Both questions have the same answer – NO.
            Lets wait and watch… Only time will tell…

          • Rak Zidane says:

            surely thats the only thing we can do wait and watch football as it is!!! :) peace!!!

  5. Howard_RoarkCFC says:

    Myth 1: Mourinho is a bad man-manager

    Dear sir, to the contrary he is the best man-manager around. One of his forte is to get the best out of his players, he understands them, he understands their strengths and weaknesses, and has it in him to get an average player to perform beyond his capabilities. When he managed Chelsea, the dressing room was full of big egoistic personalities. Still there was never, read NEVER, any discord between the coach and the players. When he spoke, even the biggest stars listened. Mourinho once said, there is a difference in the way you treat different players. No two players are the same. If I tell John Terry, JT you were sh*t today. The response was always a kick-a*s performance from the captain in the next game. On the other hand, if I tell this same thing to some other player, in all likelihood, his performance would end up turning for the worse. MOU knew how to deal with different personalities, he still does.

    This is the reason why he is LOVED by his players, so much so that, when he leaves, they are so distraught that they want to follow him to his new club. Happened with Drogba, happened with Maicon, etc. Whatever problems he may be having with Valdano, he still has the Madrid dressing room in his firm grasp. Ferguson made Ronaldo what he is today, but Mourinho is getting the best out of his – which is no lesser accomplishment, considering the kind of larger-than-the-game personality CR7 has.

    Wherever he goes, the fans love him and the rivals hate him. That’s Mou for you. He will never change, neither should he. You can’t stand him? That’s your problem. He is one of the best, if not the best in the business, only an ignorant can deny that.

    Myth 2: The Catalans are greater-than-thou, superior race, and their club is not just a club

    Mourinho celebrated at Camp Nou after Inter had knocked Barca out in the UCL, and that’s why Catalans have a right to hate him. What is amusing here is how conveniently, something is just brushed under the carpet. Valdes ran more than half way across the pitch to confront Mourinho, he pushed the manager and abused him. Then Inter was not allowed to celebrate as Barca turned their sprinklers on. This is what ‘More than a club’ does.

    How would you have reacted had a Chelsea player, let’s say Ballack had punched Pep in the face when he ran around celebrating your club’s ref-inspired victory at Stamford Bridge in the semifinal? Same thing happened To Mourinho that night.

    Well, I can go on and on, but I think it wouldn’t serve the purpose anyway :-

    I will just end by saying, yes Mourinho is cocky, he is arrogant, but he is also one of the best managers in te business. His work, his achievements talk for him. It’s fair enough if you don’t like him or hate him, the least you can do is to respect/acknowledge what’s good about him, and evaluate him fairly.

    • A_Blaugrana says:

      Mr. Roark,
      Isn’t being an interface between the Club authorities and the players is also a part of the job??? I guess it is. Then why is JMo not being able to cope with Valdano and why are we having reports of dressing room unrests @ the White House? He is one of the best for sure, but the problem when he claims himself to be THE BEST… He has quite a distance to travel before he even thinks of calling himself the greatest. With unlimited money at ones disposal any manager can win trophies… Mancini too will win some very soon….

      Yes, we are sore losers… And we accept that, through oour sprinklers and VV incidents… and these are the only two points that the anti-Barca contingent has to talk about…

      I think the author has evaluated him fairly when he said the following:
      1. Mourinho’s rise to stardom isn’t anything short of folklore. He took the Portuguese giants to the dizzy heights of winning the UEFA Champions League in 2003-04. Newer challenges awaited him and Mourinho did not disappoint. Russian billionaire, Roman Abrahimovic, entrusted Mourinho with the Chelsea revolution and the Portuguese made them one of the finest sides in England.
      2. The illustrious Portuguese has managed in 3 different countries before moving to Spain and has undoubtedly been successful.

      If you expect more than these from people who aren’t Mou fans I guess you are asking for a bit too much…

      With this I am sure, the author and other Barcelona fans would want JMO to stay at the White House and achieve what he couldn’t with Chelsea…

  6. Jayant says:

    @Howard Roark: Actually Valdes later said in one of his interviews that he pulled Jose away from the fans coz tensions were high at the Camp Nou after Barca got knocked out. Not that I expect an EPL fan to understand or pay attention to what happens in the Spanish media. I could argue all day and most probably I’d come out on top but that is not my intention. Also about us being ‘More than a club’ – my suggestion would be to read up on Catalan history and the history of FC Barcelona to understand that. Its not about the club or the football, its much bigger than that. Its about the identity of an entire region. something that you or me aren’t qualified to understand or comment on.

    @The Author: Homework for you – please check how much Barca has spent over the past 4 years to get to the point where they have. I love FC Barcelona and I’ve loved them for 14 years and counting which is why I hate bandwagon fans who think that we haven’t spent a cent and we are blessed by God. We’ve spent quite an amount to reach where we are and I don’t mind that coz we have the right mix of players to complement the system.

    @A Football Fan: Your comment about Guardiola inheriting a complete side shows me how much you know about Pep, FC Barcelona and football. When Pep came on board Barcelona had just finished the Liga in third place, a full 18 points behind Madrid and 10 behind Villareal, a club in disarray. Guardiola’s Barcelona are quite different from Rijkaard’s Barcelona and only someone who has watched both teams would understand that. I don’t mind when people say that Pep is lucky but give the man his due – he has made this Barca team exceptional and given us Cules something to cherish for years to come.

    As for Jose – Brilliant manager. Horrible person. Jose is a tactical genius, as Guardiola has said many a time this season but he isn’t respected by his peers because he has failed to understand one simple theory – people respect you when you respect them. Being cocky isn’t a bad thing but being arrogant to a point where it becomes obnoxious, now that is a an altogether different animal.

    • A_Blaugrana says:

      @Jayant: Thanks for your feedback.
      “@The Author: Homework for you – please check how much Barca has spent over the past 4 years to get to the point where they have. I love FC Barcelona and I’ve loved them for 14 years and counting which is why I hate bandwagon fans who think that we haven’t spent a cent and we are blessed by God. We’ve spent quite an amount to reach where we are and I don’t mind that coz we have the right mix of players to complement the system.”

      I respect you for supporting the club for as long as 14 years, but that does not make someone who has supported and worshipped them for a little more than 10 years, a bandwagon fan, or does it?

      Talking about Barcelona’s transfers in an article that isn’t even remotely related to that doesn’t make much sense. However, please let me know as to where have I mentioned that “we haven’t spent a cent and we are blessed by God” ??
      Infact, as mentioned by one of our followers, about “a few” of our transfers going here and there. Well to say that “a few” would be exaggerating. Quite a few of our big-money transfers went haywire. People might say that the Zlatan deal is the worst. I, for one, feel that Chygrynskiy deal was as bad, if not worse. Nevertheless, the point here is, we aren’t dissecting Barcelona’s transfer policies and I guess as an author I have the right to discount that fact, based on the perfect amalgamation that we have of stars and academy products.

      • Jayant says:

        I never called you a bandwagon fan. The statement was a generalised one. And my comment about the amount spent by us was reference to your mention of how much Madrid had spent over the years to catch up with us.

        Anyways, my comment wasn’t meant to point fingers at you and I apologise if it came out that way. Clubs choose to function differently and we should be happy with how ours has turned out after 25 years of hard work. Let’s leave Jose and his clubs to their own means and see comes out on top. :)

        P.S: I’m watching Madrid-Osasuna right now and Pandiani just fluffed an awesome chance to put Osasuna in the lead. Let’s hope they draw. :)

    • Rak Zidane says:

      when i said a pep inherited a well oiled side i meant that the current barca crop had the majority of the players who have played with each other for a very long ime and pep had to make some minor changes so that they get back to winning ways. nobody is denying credit to pep, my comment came in the wake of some fans who were crediting the money and not the management of JM for his success. and I pretty well know what was the situation of barca at that time when rijkaard left!!!! so ur comment evaluating my football knowledge was uncalled for!!!!

      • Jayant says:

        If you wouldn’t mind listing out the ‘minor changes’ Pep made so that I can take this discussion forward?

        My advice – watch Barca under Rijkaard again so that you can notice some of the ‘major tactical changes’ made by Pep when he took over.

        On the one hand you expect people to credit Jose’s management skills for his success (which I do by the way) even though he’s spent a ton of money at all the clubs he has managed and was fairly lucky in winning the CL with Porto while on the other hand you go about questioning Pep’s success as a manager solely on the fact that he inherited a ‘well oiled side’. Sounds slightly hypocritical if you ask me.

        • Rak Zidane says:

          Its written on the wall that pep inherited a side which any manager would surely take bacuse most of its players played with each others for years and his job was to get rid of a few and give messi some polishing and there they were back to winning ways. Ppl in these comments and also in the article have shown negativity towards mourinho more than what he deserved and that was the whole base on which I have posted my comments. So I would request a thorough retrospection.

    • AB says:

      What VV says is BS. Jose was running towards Inter fans in the crowd, when Valdez grabbed him from behind. The so called “more than a club” showed its class when they switched on the sprinklers just after they lost the game.

      A point on Pep even though it is not the crux of the article. The side he took over in 2008 finished 18 points behind RMA, but the core of the team were same players who set European stage afire just two seasons ago in 2006. What had changed in two was that egos had swelled and the little genius had matured a bit more. Pep recognized the problem and threw away two of the biggest troublemakers and it didn’t take long for sanity to return.

      And people including the author here post as if it is RMA who do all the spending without looking at the club they claim to follow. Selective amnesia or selective reading? A little research would have showed that in the year they did the treplete (08-09), they spent close to 100m Euros (40m for Alves, 15m for Keita, 17 for Hleb, 8m for Pique, 16m For Caceres). Not to mention spending another 50m a year before buying Henry, Abidal and Yaya Toure. The year after it was close to 100m buying up the Swedish beanpole and the Russkie defender with unprounouncable name. In short close to 250m EUROS SPENT IN 3 years. And then they adopt a moral high-ground on spending. It is like Stalin calling Hitler a mass-murderer.

      So much for the saintly “we don’t buy titles”. Or shall we say “I don’t follow the club properly”

      A winning club gathers many in the bandwagon. A question to all the Barcelona “fans” posting about how great the academy has been. Pray tell me just 10 years ago in the squad of 1998-99 how many were academy graduates?

      It is one thing to love a club, another thing to write a article based purely out of spite and pepper it liberally with half-truths and drivel. In fact the site would be better served if articles were better policed.

      • A_Blaugrana says:

        The irony is you cannot understand the greatness of playing for others… Playing for the under-priviledged… I guess, your club has never done that…. That’s why we are more than a club… and as far as all anti-Barcelona guys like you are there, you just have a few accussations – Sprinkler being one of them…. That’s getting old now… get something new :)

        • Rak Zidane says:

          in the past three years barca have showed great team spirit so now they are her teaching lessons to everyone and some fans going to the extent of telling madrid never had any team spirit at all which is absolutely hilarious and baseless. what about the team spirit in rijkaard’s regime?? madrid have team spirit and they do play as a team and if they did not do it they would not have been in the title race for the past dunno how many years. and coming to accusations its ironical that barca fans (the article writer included) are the ones who throw few and absolutely biased accusations at mourinho and they end up saying that anti barcelona guys do all the accusation part(FUNNY). and its not we who have to get something new its is you guys who have to get something new so as to criticize the special one and madrid because you come up all the time with only one accusation that is spending which has been proven baseless in the above comments!!!!

      • Jayant says:

        Actually the Inter fans were in the top tier – the bottom two tiers comprised of Barcelona fans.
        I’m not condoning the actions of Valdes or the club (the sprinkler incident). I found them to be in bad taste. The club took responsibility for the sprinkler incident and the employee responsible for it was reprimanded for his actions. All clubs have passionate fans who do stupid things in the heat of the moment. Let’s not get carried away and single out one club for that. I’m just letting you know what VV had to say in the media afterwards.

        As for the core remaining the same, I wonder what happened to the same core of players when they lost out in 2008. Rikkaard was a brilliant servant for FC Barcelona and I admire the man for all he did for the club and its fans but he was one-dimensional in his approach. Pep didn’t take over a ‘well oiled side’. He took over a disjointed side with massive problems within the dressing room.

        What pisses me off though is when people get all wound up because someone questions the ‘greatness’ of Jose even though he has spent tons of money at every club he has managed but are the first ones to come out and say that all Pep did was get rid of Gordinho and Deco and things were all rosy in Catalunya once again. It’s akin to saying all Jose did was bring a few more world class players and Inter won the CL right? I mean they were already winning in Italy before Jose came right?

        I acknowledge what Jose has achieved in his managerial career. He is a modern managerial great but let’s measure everyone by the same yardstick shall we?

        Like I said in my earlier comment – I have no issues accepting the fact that we have spent money over the last few years. The game has evolved into a form where it is impossible to succeed without spending. That said, it is a fact that the current team is comprised of a slew of La Masia graduates and every Cule has the right to be proud of that. As a club, Barca has managed to find a balance between promoting the youngsters and buying from outside and I don’t mind that as long as we play the way we do.

        Frankly speaking, I don’t really care what Jose does at Madrid or how much Madrid spends on players. I prefer following Pep’s philosophy of doing the best you can and winning all your games. As long as we keep winning, what Jose and Madrid do is inconsequential.

        @Anustup: Madrid lost bro’ which means a 7 pt gap and some breathing space not tat we needed any. 😛

        • Jayant says:

          Oh and about the “Mes que un Club’ thing – I’ve already said it before, it came much before FC Barcelona was winning anything and it’ll remain long after we’ve stopped winning. Let’s aim our taunts at the club and not what it stands for.

        • A_Blaugrana says:

          @Jayant: 7 points definitely gives us a cushion… However, we have a few tricky fixtures, and so does Real Madrid. To be honest, I’d prefer losing a few of our matches rather than losing our precious youngsters. If today they get a chance to showcase their talent, the team might lose due to inexperience, but tomorrow we’ll have another star who’ll pledge his future to Camp Nou. Just a thought. What do you think?

          • Jayant says:

            The tricky fixtures is the reason I’m happy that we have a 7pt cushion. I’m anticipating us dropping pts at Villareal so I’m happy that Madrid are doing us a favour by giving us some breathing space.

            The problem with the kids is that there too many of them. We just lost Icardi to Sampdoria on a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season. Promising youngster who just wasn’t built for the Barca system. Rafinha has moved up to the B team and is doing quite well so keep an eye out for him. Thiago is going to join the first team permanently next season so hopefully we’ll see more of him in the coming years. JDS will leave I think coz there just isn’t enough space to fit him. There has been talk of selling him to a Liga club with a buy-back option so let’s see. Rochina might leave for Blackburn in the summer and Nolito is mostly off to Benfica next season. Fontas/Batra should see more playing time once Milito leaves (hopefully we don’t sign another CB).

            The kids are one of the main reasons I don’t want Cesc back at Barca. There is no denying his talent but we have young players for that position and I’d rather give them a chance while Xavi is still around than spend 50m on a glorified bench signing. Plus we have Afellay now and the more I see of the Dutchman, the more I fall in love with his game. Ridiculously good first touch, excellent skill on the ball and wonderful passing ability. His off the ball movement is so good for a player who has just joined that I feel like the kid was born to play for us.

            And then we have the next generation – Gerard Deulofeu, Gael Etock, Armand Ella, Cristian Ceballos and Campabadal who have all shown promise at the youth level.

            To answer your question – I’d love to have the young uns’ play but not at the cost of winning. Experience will only come when they play alongside the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, not in place of them. I think we are doing fine in terms of balancing that though I’d like to see Pep take it easy in the Copa and give the kids some minutes. He insists on playing the first team till we are 3 or 4 up when we can very easily bring on some of the kids during a few of those games.

        • AB says:

          No coach or player is perfect, Jose is not different. But the stupid article is all about how Jose is devil incarnate. Coming from Barcelona supporters it sounds hypocritical to say the least.

          The current team consists of 7 players from academy? The Cules love tom-toming this. Again the question to the bandwagon followers – How many times in the past has this happened. And you go on projecting that this is the norm at Barca. Give us all a break, or rather follow your club properly I should say. Just 10 years ago, the team had just one player (the current coach) in its starting XI who had graduated from the academy.

          Academies hit a jackpot at times. In recent times Ajax 94-96, Manchester United 97-01 were dominated by their academy graduates.

          And today it is the golden period of La Massia. They might have done great things but to claim that academy has always been the backbone of Barca success would be as deluded and stupid as the article itself. And using that to adopt a preaching stance like many Barca fans including the author of the article would be a case of fans who started watching recently commenting about stuff they hardly know much.

          Finally a point on Pep. Nobody said he took over a well oiled side. Pep took over a side which had massively underachieved in last two seasons (After winning everything). No sane head will claim that Barcelona of 07-08 had performed to their potential. He identified and rectified the problem which was primarily the discord in dressing room and nothing else.

          Jose’s work was to ingrain a winning attitude in his teams; be it Chelsea in Premier league or Inter in Europe. The way he got the team believing in themselves was his greatness.

          Finally a few points on the post:
          Mindless spending: Look at Barcelona circa 07-09. Pot Kettle black?
          Focus on Youth: Where was Barca 10 years ago. Lottery winner calling others lucky I say?
          Respectable Icons like Benitez and Allegri: Making me laugh. The former showed his capabilities at Inter, while Allegri still has a ton to prove.

          A little research and information might have helped both the post and the site :-)

          • Jayant says:

            I have no clue whose comment you are replying to but I’ll state this again:

            1.I’ve already mentioned this twice in my previous comments that I don’t deny we’ve spent money and frankly I don’t mind it. The money spent has been well worth the success. That said, we have 7 cantera players in the first team which is a fact and something to be proud of. You might not like it but that doesn’t mean its not true.

            2. I never once said in any of my comments that we had academy players in the 90’s. I don’t know where you came up with that one (I’m guessing the blind hatred lead you to that one). All I said was that 25 years of hard work has finally born fruit and the Cules have every reason to be proud of that. I don’t think I projected this as a norm at Barca. The fact that I said 25 years of hard work seems to be paying off should make it fairly clear but I guess not.

            3. It looks like you have some difficulty in understanding the English language so I’ll try and make my point clearer – Jose spent money wherever he went which is a fact. Yet people attribute his success not to the amount he spent but to his managerial ability. I have no problems with that. Like I said earlier – brilliant manager, not so great a person. All I’m saying is that measure Pep using the same yardstick rather than saying he took over an already good side and so he is lucky. That is all. Oh wait – this might not be clear enough for you. Jose is a brilliant manager. Pep Guardiola has proven that he has the skills and acumen to match the very best. Simple?

            4. Internal discord is just one of many things that Pep changed when he took over. I could list them out for you but going by the tone of your previous comments, I have a feeling it won’t make much of a difference so I won’t.

            5. Did I say our focus was on youth in the late 90’s? Funny I can’t see that anywhere in my previous comments. What I said was that the current Barca side has found the right balance between academy players and purchased players and the current set-up is far more youth oriented. The process started in the early 90’s and only now is the club seeing the true benefits of Cruyff’s vision.

            It seems as though you are assuming things that aren’t even there on previous comments to make ludicrous points.

          • AB says:

            I thought I mentioned the main article itself which should have been clear. It was all about assailing Real Madrid (and by extension Jose’s) penchant for spending (as if Barca is different), showcasing Barca as place where youth has eternally been promoted. In short the tone was as if Jose is son of devil and Barca are manna from heaven.

            As regards Barca youth Policy bearing fruits – again is it a one off case or something which has survived the test of time? The question on youth players 10 year ago was to prove that it looks like a one-off case. Barca academy might have produced 7 first teamers today which is great, but then the original post talks as if it was always the norm, which BTW is a pile of BS.

          • Jayant says:

            So now you’ve toned it down to ‘it looks like a one-off case’. On what basis does it look like a ‘one-off case’? I don’t think either of us has the ability to predict the future. Pep has shown a tendency to play the canteranos so whose to say a new batch won’t make it. Bojan is already part of the first team and Thiago will join him next season. JDS, Nolito and Fontas have all made their first team debut as have Muniesa and Bartra. Rafinha, Thiago’s brother, is already part of the Barca B squad at the age of 17. I’m not saying they’ll replicate the current generation but there is enough talent there to certainly make a strong case for the youth policy to continue well into the next generation.

          • AB says:

            Neither of us has seen the future. But as they say past performance speaks a lot. When has Barca academy produce so many great players together at the same time? And Barca fans would like to believe that this will continue to happen in the future. Do they have a nice crystal ball? Oh the high horse that is being ridden.

            Unlike other clubs like Ajax and Juventus which have done it again and again when it comes to academy graduates, this is the first time a big bunch of Barca academy graduates have made it big. do it consistently. The names of kids you quote don’t mean anything till they that is matched by exploits on the field. If potential was everything Arsenal would have been the kings of football by now.

            The so called Cryuff vision took almost 20 years to come to fruition means, even though the ingredients were in place. Why didn’t the supposedly great academy produce great players all these years? Luck? Providence? And then this is used to preach the so called lesser mortals and splashers of cash…. give us a break. Or rather see yourself in the mirror.

          • AB says:

            Finally a point on Pep’s management.

            Flashback to 2003. Barca were unarguably in horrible shape (than they were in 2008). Within 3 years Rijkaard had won everything and won hearts of everyone. Today we know where the reputation of Rijkaard the manager stands. 5 years later Pep is also in the first part of the cycle.

            In short Pep has won great things with Barcelona where he had a team which a coach will give his arm and leg for.

            Sir Alex might have stayed at a single club for two decades, but he has built multiple trophy winning teams. Capello and Jose have done the same with multiple teams. Till that happens, there is every reason to associate Pep with the fortune of inheriting a great team.

        • Raunak Biswas says:

          Haha, and Jose has taken Madrid to a final in his first season, hope u have some breathing space now :P. I also hope that u have some breathing space at the Champions League as well. Get ‘ass licking’ Pep to win a Champions League winner’s medal managing F.C. Porto…till then zip it! Pep has a million miles to go before you compare him to Jose. And the fact is, we at Real Madrid don’t pretend like we are not spending…if anything, WE LIKE DOING THAT. PERIOD.(better of than our President spending that money buying a Palace or something) We give youngsters at the academy a go, if NOT good enough for Madrid…that is it. End of story, but as a Madrid graduate at least your career as a footballer is considered to be set.(and they get all the support from the club) The kids will live don’t worry about them.(maybe u can try adopting some) We want the best players to play for us…whoever dreams, is welcome…or you can cue up at La Masia 😛 best wishes, wear that cheap coloured jersey 😛 (at least wear something more pleasing to the eye, especially ur away strips. Horrible!) And stop saying “mas que en club”. When a man is righteous, he doth not need to keep claiming that he is. (and i bet u don’t know much Spanish anyway) You guys are no different…all of you are running to equal/surpass one club’s achievements only. Till then stick to the script, play hard, and in a few light years time…u and ur “mas que…whatever” may achieve what we have in our cabinet.
          Boy, the way I see it…we have “breathing space” at our trophy cabinet, I can send some postcards to Pep, maybe he can use it to motivate your “Mas…whatever” 😛
          I am a Madrid fan…come and play football with me sometime, I’ll show u that even the fans are better at it 😛
          Its showbiz baby, we are here to entertain, if possible win (because its extremely competitive) and certainly make money out of it and invest as much in turn for the cause. There is no pretence.
          I’m sorry that my tone is so confrontational, but it has been caused by numerous posts for this ‘very’ biased article. My sincere apologies, but I do mean what I say. Cheers.