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4 flashpoints that marked Jose Mourinho's time as Real Madrid coach

We look back on some of the more fiery moments of the Portuguese’s tenure as boss.

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.

JOSE MOURINHO’S THREE-YEAR reign at Real Madrid was never short of controversy.

Here AFP looks back at four flashpoints that marked his tenure following Monday’s announcement that he was leaving the club at the end of the season:

Ramos and Alonso deliberately sent-off against Ajax – November 2010

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In a case of trying to be too clever Mourinho instructed Spanish internationals Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to get deliberately sent-off towards the end of a Champions League match with Ajax in 2010 so that they would then serve a suspension in a meaningless group match before being free to play in the last-16.

Unfortunately, the Portuguese’s method of communication through goalkeepers Jerzy Dudek and Iker Casillas wasn’t very discreet and after being caught Mourinho was given a fine and a touchline ban, whilst Ramos and Alonso had their suspensions extended by a game.

“Maybe it’s because advertising UNICEF gets you sympathy” – May 2011

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The sending-off of Pepe in Real’s 2-0 defeat to eternal rival Barcelona in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-finals proved too much to bear for Mourinho as having had players sent off against Barca when in charge of Chelsea and Inter he inferred UEFA’s referees of always favouring the Catalans.

“With our strategy we were not going to lose. So why did we? Maybe it’s because advertising Unicef gets you sympathy, maybe having (Spanish Football Federation chief, Angel Maria) Villar on UEFA gets you sympathy, or some form of congratulations for being a great football team?

Why in a game that was so finely balanced at 0-0, did he have to do what he did? Only the referee can answer that one; but he won’t. Last year, at Inter we had a miracle to progress with 10 men, but another miracle this year simply wasn’t possible.”

Poking Vilanova in the eye – August 2011

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With tempers still raging from that Champions League clash at the end of the previous season, the 2011/12 campaign opened with another pair of El Clasico clashes in the Spanish Super Cup.

With Barca once again heading for victory in the final minutes of the second-leg at the Camp Nou, Mourinho poked the then Barca assistant boss Tito Vilanova in the eye.

Amazingly, Mourinho ended up serving no suspension for the act and afterwards even claimed to have not known who Vilanova was.

Dropping of Casillas – December 2012

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Throughout a fiery final season in charge, the one topic that seemed to have a whole nation lined up against Mourinho was his decision to drop national icon Iker Casillas.

Mourinho was unhappy with the lack of intensity with which the Spanish captain was training and dropped him in favour of the inexperienced Antonio Adan for league games against Malaga and Real Sociedad.

The saga rumbled on in 2013 when after recovering his place in the side, Casillas broke a bone in his hand forcing him onto the sidelines for three months.

In his absence, Mourinho signed Diego Lopez and even after he returned to full fitness, Casillas never played another game under the Portuguese as Mourinho repeatedly spoke of his preference for Lopez as a keeper.

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