Spanish media says adios to Mourinho
Spain's sporting media focused on Real Madrid players' efforts in almost achieving a miraculous late comeback during Tuesday's agonising Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund at the Bernabeu, but still found time to point accusing fingers at Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho claimed in the press room after the game that he was unfairly treated by the Spanish media, and would prefer to work where his achievements were properly appreciated.
"I know I am loved in England, where the media treats me fairly," Mourinho said, in response to an English reporter's question. "Criticising me when they have to, but giving credit when I deserve it. In Spain the situation is a bit different, because some people hate me. Many of them are in this room."
However, the Madrid press was - under the circumstances - relatively reserved in its treatment of the Portuguese coach on Wednesday morning.
AS' cover read: "It was a miracle there was no miracle." The paper also accused Mourinho of "navel-gazing" by concentrating post-game on his own future, rather than Madrid's dashed Champions League hopes.
Alfredo Relano's editorial read: "The truth that I am left with is that, over and above systems, methods and doctrines, there is an eternal history of striving in this old home. It just awoke too late last night. Maybe because neither Mourinho, nor the club, wanted to believe in it."
AS columnist Antonio Romero echoed the idea that Mourinho was out of touch with the collective remontada (comeback) ethos of Madrid. "Ramos was the best example of the 'spirit of Juanito', which Mou did not want to know about before the game."
'Mad madridista' Tomas Roncero, also with AS, claimed to be "hurt that Mourinho, on the night that we suffered a terrible punch in the stomach, announced that he was possibly leaving. In three years he has not understood the greatness of this club."
Mourinho's regular recollections that when he arrived Madrid were not a top seed in the competition, and regularly exited in the last 16, were also questioned. "Vicente del Bosque won two Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles in his three years in charge," AS said, while TV host JJ Santos worried in his column for the paper that Mourinho always leaves "scorched earth" behind him, as at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
Marca's cover read: "I believed", while adding: "Mou says goodbye?" The paper's rankings gave Mourinho 6.5 out of 10 - the same as Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp - and said: "He took risks, when he had no option, and it almost worked well."
Under a headline, in English, of "All you need is Klopp", Miguel Serrano wrote in Marca that "no coach in the world is capable of filling the enormous void that the 'Special One' will leave", and filters through all the other candidates before suggesting the German is the only man for the job.
The reaction in the Catalan media was, understandably, more upbeat. Mundo Deportivo's headline bade "Adios Decima", while Sport went for something similar: "Adios Mou – consuming failure."
"Madrid is now left in a trance, with its fans divided," Josep M Artells wrote in Mundo Deportivo. "Mourinho will surely blame his players. La Liga was lost in October, the Champions League in the semi-finals for a third year in a row. Even with the Copa del Rey final to come, a season in which Mourinho sacrificed [Iker] Casillas must be seen as a failure, especially as he has the most expensive and complete squad in Madrid's history."