La Liga, Real Madrid

Mourinho Opens Up On What He Really Thinks About Ronaldo, Pepe And Casillas

Real Madrid Training & Press ConferenceAny hopes that Chelsea fans had of Cristiano Ronaldo following the Special One ended with Mourinho’s interview this week on the Spanish sports programme Punto Pelota. During a wide ranging interview, Mourinho said he only has one complaint about Ronaldo, that he is unable to accept criticism from a tactical point of view.

“Perhaps Cristiano thinks he knows it all and the coach can’t help him to improve, whenever he gets advice, he doesn’t take it well. He has been carrying a back injury for the past few weeks; and I am never in any doubt whenever one of my players has an injury. He put in three fantastic seasons with me – I don’t know whether they have been the best years of his career or not but we worked out a fantastic tactical system for him, one which allows him to maximize his full potential and express himself through scoring goals,” Mourinho explained.

Mourinho then went on to talk more about his time in Madrid, the criticism he received in the media from Pepe and the Iker Casillas


“He has been on the verge of leaving Madrid a few times but I always coaxed him back. I fought so that he could be given an adequate contract. A youngster who is 13 years younger than him has started to break through but that young player, in my opinion, deserved to play and assumed his responsibilities well. Pepe is a fantastic player and I have happy that now he has support and tranquillity”.


“I am a reasonable coach. With someone like me, you don’t need to prove yourself. I meanwhile don’t have to thank anyone, we are paid to play, to coach and we try to have a compatible social life… The club that hires me, pays me, they keep their side of the bargain and I have to give everything I’ve got, and put myself to one side”.


“The best thing for the players was for me to go but I have no regrets, it’s not worth it”.

Overall feelings:

“Without any doubt I feel very proud to have been a part of Real Madrid. I came to Madrid at the pinnacle of my career. I thought that my career wouldn’t mean much without having the chance to coach that ‘monster’”.

Feelings about Madrid:

“I leave Madrid with a good feeling. It’s always better to remember the good things in life. I go with the memory of the record-breaking league campaign, fantastic relationships with many people and memories of the people I worked with at Valdebebas”.


“He’s a footballer and as far as I am concerned, they are all equal. Maybe in Madrid, they are not predisposed to be equal. I am a manager who employs a meritocracy system. The one who gets to play is the player who I think is the best – without being influenced by status, past performances… You play in the same way as you train. That’s perfectly normal. It was also normal for me to leave Materazzi, Inter’s legendary player, on the subs’ bench or like Benítez did last season with John Terry. Others can think that Iker is better than Diego. I accept that but I am the coach. If players vary their ‘modus operandi’ depending on whether they get to play or not, that’s the problem of the player. As coach, I always employ working methods based on meritocracy.

Problem with Casillas:

“I would prefer to have problems with people, the press or half of the city than have problems with myself. I would have problems if I fielded a player who didn’t deserve to play”.