La Liga

Real Madrid Legend Di Stefano Rips Mourinho’s Tactics

Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano ripped into Jose Mourinho for his tactics in the 1-1 draw against Barcelona, saying the team played like a mouse against a lion of a Catalan side.

Di Stefano, Madrid’s honorary president, wrote in his weekly column in sports newspaper Marca on Monday that the Portuguese coach’s team showed no “personality” after a result Saturday that practically clinches Barcelona’s third straight league trophy.

“Barcelona’s football in the Bernabeu was simply brilliant. Their superiority was there for the whole planet to see,” Di Stefano wrote. “Madrid was a team without personality. The decision to try and play Barcelona on the counterattack was clearly not the right one. Barcelona play football and dance while Madrid just run back and forth constantly, tiring themselves out.”

The 84-year-old Di Stefano hopes Madrid realizes that new tactics are needed for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final—the second of four meetings between the Spanish rivals inside 18 days. The pair will also meet in a two-legged Champion League semifinal series.

“We saw clearly that their approach was not the right one. Barcelona were a lion, Madrid a mouse,” Di Stefano wrote before heaping further praise on Barcelona’s tactics, a surprise for such a famous Madrid personality. You don’t just watch their football with your eyes but you feel it inside. They treat the ball with adoration and respect, almost nurturing it. To see this team in action is a delight.”

Strong words from a Real Madrid legend. Do you agree with what Di Stefano wrote?