So that's it, then. In a press conference on Monday, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez divulged the least surprising piece of news since Mariano Rajoy announced for the 74th time this week that Spain is doing just fine, thanks. Jose Mourinho will not be the manager of the team next season. The information was delivered with suitable gravitas by the master of ceremonies, who paused theatrically after declaring "following a meeting of the board..." but the writing had been on the wall for months, none of it hugely complimentary about the outgoing Portuguese.
One of the worst-kept secrets in football was confirmed Monday: Jose Mourinho will depart Real Madrid at the end of the season for pastures new. Three seasons, three trophies. The Copa del Rey in his first, La Liga in his second and the lesser Supercopa this season. It was all going so well, and almost to plan, before a ball was kicked in the 2013-14 season, but these last 10 months have been ones to forget for the Special One, who lost his magic touch. -Real confirm Mourinho exit -Hunter: Good riddance -PSG's Ancelotti dilemma Mourinho's departure was being discussed even before the turn of the year and it had gathered pace since.
Jose Mourinho's post-match press conference was never going to be comfortable after Atletico Madrid ended its 14-year hoodoo against its city rival in the Copa del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Real coach was naturally asked where he will be next season, and responded as any coach in that situation might: by pointing out that there are two league games remaining, the direct and indirect opposition in those two games still have objectives to achieve and the league, the fans and the institution of Real Madrid should be respected.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but Atletico Madrid haven't had to wait too long for the chance to exact some payback on neighbor Real Madrid. The dust barely had time to settle on Los Blancos' 2-1 Liga victory over Atleti last month at the Vicente Calderon before manager Diego Simeone looked to Friday night's Copa del Rey final clash as a chance for redemption. "We will have another opportunity to beat Real on May 17," Simeone said immediately after the match. "We were closer than ever and there will be one match when the losing streak finally ends.
A Scudetto, Coppa Italia, a couple of European Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup, a Premier League title, the FA Cup and a Ligue 1 title. Not a bad list of major honours for any football manager. Not a bad one at all. Carlo Ancelotti, the Paris Saint-Germain manager, has long been linked with replacing Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and the desire for Los Blancos to make the Italian their new manager was made public this week when the French club, crowned champions on Sunday, revealed an approach from the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid's 1-1 tie in Cornella-El Prat against Espanyol handed the title to Barcelona with three weeks of the season remaining, but it was in essence merely a case of Jose Mourinho's side popping a cyanide pill before facing the firing squad. - Rigg: Madrid failure vs. Espanyol crowns Barca Even had the result gone the other way -- and in reality it should swung even further in the home side's favor but referee Iglesias Villanueva inexplicably disallowed Hector Moreno's effort after a bit of standard pushing and shoving with Xabi Alonso in the area -- it would only have papered over the cracks.
Visit the official Real Madrid website today (Sunday, May 12) and it'll take longer than you'd expect to find details and reaction to Los Blancos' 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Saturday night. That's because Madrid's basketball team are set to face Olympiacos in London for the European Cup, what would be the club's ninth in the sport. It all seems a bit familiar. The team has scooped up more European Cups than any other, with eight. The final is in London. While it's great news for the club's basketball fans, in a strange way it's almost rubbing salt into the wounds that Jose Mourinho and his men are not Wembley-bound for the final of the Champions League.
Believe it or not, there are some positives to take from this tumultuous season for Real Madrid. Arguments here, shock results there, in-fighting all over the place. A big failure in Los Blancos' defence of their Liga title and a disappointing, although not wholly outrageous, Champions League exit at the semi-final stage. -Karanka: Real 'ideal place' for Ronaldo That's not even mentioning the mudslinging that's gone flying between the Bernabeu and the Spanish press pretty much since day one of the season.
In a week when chatter surrounding Jose Mourinho has naturally centered on news of Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to retire at the end of the season, the Real coach has remained as silent as he done for much of his tenure at the Spanish champion. Although it is only a matter of time before Barcelona is crowned anew as Liga top dog, the wily Mourinho has kept his counsel as to his future and largely kept his counsel as Real's season draws to an increasingly acrimonious conclusion. In an increasingly rare appearance in front of what Mourinho believes are his chief tormentors, the Portuguese provocateur leveled a broadside at the club's crown jewel, Iker Casillas, singled out Pepe for a spot of abuse and managed to squeeze in a dig at arch-nemesis Barcelona while he was at it.
If there's one thing Jose Mourinho can take from what will be a relatively meaningless match in the grand scheme of things for Real Madrid against Malaga on Wednesday night, it's that he has lasted at the Bernabeu longer than most. With rumours over Mourinho's future at fever pitch following Madrid's exit from the Champions League last week, the Portuguese can at least look to the opposition bench, at Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini, and the long list of managers who have been in and out of the Bernabeu quicker than a Cristiano Ronaldo-led counterattack.
You'd be forgiven for thinking the Santiago Bernabeu hosted a boxing match on Saturday night, and not a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid. Los Blancos bounced back from their Champions League exit against Dortmund with a 4-3 win in a seven-goal thriller against the Pucela in the Spanish capital, but with the game being as close to a "dead rubber" as you will get, the talk after the match focused on the continued spat between manager Jose Mourinho and shunted goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Spectators expecting a low-key affair at the Bernabeu on Saturday night will have been left pleasantly surprised by the feast of goals that unfolded between the home side and Valladolid. The precedent had been set in the return match earlier in the season when Valladolid gave Real a torrid evening in the Nuevo Zorrilla, forcing Jose Mourinho into a defensive reshuffle that took in four formations in half of a half. - Ronaldo scores two in Real's win - Mourinho still undecided about future On this occasion, as then, it was Valladolid that took the initiative as the visiting side elected to go toe-to-toe with Real.