No trouble: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez addresses the media today. Paul White/AP/Press Association Images
Real Problem

Anti-Mou coup? Casillas and Ramos deny leading Real revolt

“No kind of ultimatum was ever made by us concerning our coach,” the two Real Madrid players said in a statement today.

IKER CASILLAS AND Sergio Ramos have denied reports that they demanded Real Madrid fire coach Jose Mourinho before next season.

Marca, a pro-Real daily newspaper, splashed a claim that Casillas and Ramos had given the club management an ultimatum at a meeting on Tuesday, headlined “It’s Mou or us.”

Casillas and Ramos, two influential members of the Real squad who have reportedly clashed with the Portuguese coach, rejected the report and president Florentino Perez branded it an attempt to “destabilise” the club.

“No kind of ultimatum was ever made by us concerning our coach,” the two players said in a statement.

“We want to demonstrate our support for our coach, Jose Mourinho, to whom we owe the utmost respect.”

Marca said the two had told club president Florentino Perez that several players were ready to leave the club if Mourinho remained in charge for next season.

Mourinho kept Casillas — a hero of Real Madrid and the Spanish national teams that won the last World Cup and two European championships — on the bench for two matches in December and January.

The coach said it was a question of the keeper’s form but the move was widely interpreted as a bid by Mourinho to assert his authority over Casillas, whom he reportedly sees as a dissenter in the dressing room.

Ramos was left on the bench following a defeat to Sevilla, and later appeared to defy Mourinho by visibly wearing under his strip the name of his teammate Mesut Ozil, who was being sidelined from the squad.

“What was published is simply a lie,” Perez told a news conference at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

“The meeting was to agree on the bonuses to be given players for various competitions. It is completely false that during this meeting we received such an ultimatum,” he added.

Marca editor Oscar Campillo acknowledged there may not have been an “ultimatum” as such but stood by the story that various Real players were thinking of leaving if Mourinho stayed.

- © AFP, 2013

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