The war of words between the two clubs intensified today when Barca president Sandro Rosell accused Madrid of anti-sporting behaviour and slammed Real coach Jose Mourinho.
“We believe that this season Real Madrid has gone beyond all the limits of the necessary sporting rivalry, making accusations against our club that have no foundation,” Rosell said. “The rivalry will continue next season but we will not allow the limits of sporting behaviour to be exceeded again. Football deserves clean competition and FC Barcelona will do everything to preserve that. If necessary, we will take legal action and take the case to the relevant sporting tribunals.”
Rosell went on to attack Jose Mourinho, whose press conference after the Champions League first-leg got him in hot water with UEFA as he claimed Barca enjoyed favourable treatment from referees.
“The news conference that the Real Madrid coach gave after the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu shamed anyone who considers themselves an athlete.”
Barcelona were also outraged by a report on Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, which cited an unidentified Real official as its source, that suggested Barca’s players and medical staff were engaged in illegal doping.
“I can assure you that if someone, in the name of FC Barcelona, had made an accusation of this kind we would have acted with firmness, denying it immediately and taking those responsible to court,” Rosell said. “We would have appreciated a similar response from Real Madrid but unfortunately this was not the case.”
Rosell said it was now up to Real president Florentino Perez to mend relations between the clubs.
“A few days ago the president of Real Madrid said he would not stop until the club had won a tenth European Cup,” he said. “We hope that they attempt this on the pitch, in a sporting manner and rediscovering a way of behaving that I believe many Madrid fans want. The president of Real Madrid has a chance to reconstitute our relations, on and off the pitch. Football, which usually gives you back what you put in, will be the great beneficiary.”
Less than two months until the two sides meet twice in the Spanish Super Cup in a matter of days. Looks like those games will have the intensity of the Champions League semi-final.