Jose Mourinho has been everything that Real Madrid expected when they took him from Inter Milan this summer. Other than that result in the Nou Camp against Barcelona, Madrid have been terrific, scoring goals and looking likely to win trophies this season.
But behind the scenes, life is not what Jose Mourinho expected as he is feuding with Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano. The two of them have been butting heads every since Mourinho arrived at the Bernabeu.
Mourinho was not Valdano choice for coach and Valdano was forced to apologise for describing the football Mourinho’s Chelsea served up as ‘s**t on a stick’.
Then as Real begin pre-season training, Mourinho requested that Real buy another striker to give him some depth. Valdano, who had brought Karem Benzema to Madrid, vetoed the request.
Now with Gonzalo Higuain injured Mourinho wants Madrid to sign Werder Bremen’s Portugal international Hugo Almeida, but Valdano is reported to have also vetoed that move, telling Mourinho that he should concentrate on the returning Kaka instead. Kaka incidentally was another Valdano signing.
Mourinho and Valdano are not just feuding over player transfers. Mourinho believes that Valdano is undermining his authority with his team.
Sergio Ramos was sent off in the Clasico against Barcelona and wanted to defend himself publicly the following day. Mourinho told him no and recommended that Ramos take a low-profile. Instead Ramos went ahead with a press conference and Valdano publicly congratulated Sergio Ramos for giving the press conference.
With this backdrop of infighting it is no surprise then to read Mourinho’s outburst after the Seville game when he said:
“There is a club, with a structure, and I want them to defend my team, not only me.”
It will be interesting to see how Real Madrid President Florentino Perez handles this infighting between Mourinho and Valdano in the new year.