For the first time Mourinho was booed and whistled at by the Bernabeu faithful as rumors continue to swirl around the team of divisions within the squad.
The sensational claim that Mourinho will quit came from highly-respected Spanish football journalist Siro Lopez, who said after Real Madrid’s 4-1 win against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend that the former Chelsea boss will walk away from his £11.5 million-a-year job at the end of the season.
Loepz, who writes about football for newspaper AS, claimed that his source was one of Mourinho’s closest allies.
That claim was apparently bolstered on Monday when another Spanish newspaper, Marca, published embarrassing details of a training ground argument between Mourinho and one of his key defenders, Sergio Ramos.
Mourinho told Ramos “you killed me”, referring to a post-match interview that the Portuguese manager claimed had been disloyal, adding that, “as you Spanish are world champions, your friends in the press protect you … like the goalkeeper,” he added, referring to Iker Casillas.
At that point, Casillas shouted over angrily at Mourinho: “Boss, here we say things to each other’s faces.”
Mourinho then argued with Ramos about his failure to mark Carles Puyol during one of Barcelona’s goals in the first-leg Cup match last week – a barb which Ramos met with an arch jibe at Mourinho’s lack of experience as a player.
“Depending on the match situation, sometimes it’s necessary to change the marking. And as you have never been a player, you wouldn’t know that this is sometimes necessary,” Ramos told his boss.
These stories could not come at a worse time for Mourinho and Real Madrid as they head to the Camp Nou on Wednesday trailing 2-1 to bitter rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Madrid under Mourinho have managed only one win over Barcelona, and in almost every game they have been outplayed by Barca. While Barcelona has concentrated on playing football in the classico’s, Madrid have been accused of anti-football in these games, of physical play bordering where the emphasis seems to be on kicking Barcelona players more than the ball.
This is not the style of football that Real Madrid fans expect. Mourinho can win La Liga and break every goal scoring record in the book, but it will not matter if they cannot pass their way past Barcelona.