Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho lashed out at English referee Howard Webb after they were denied a place in the Champions League final and dropped another hint he was considering his future at the club.
Real came within a whisker of pulling off a remarkable comeback after losing their semi-final first leg 4-1 away to Borussia Dortmund last week, but came up just short with a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu to exit 4-3 on aggregate.
Mourinho, who knows Webb well from his days as Chelsea manager, said the official should have dismissed Dortmund's Mats Hummels for handball in the second half and accused him of not doing so to allow the centre back to play in next month's final.
"It's incredible and I continue to say the same that he is a fantastic referee," Mourinho told Spanish television.
"But it's incredible that he didn't give Hummels a red card," added the outspoken Portuguese, who is a regular critic of match officials and has clashed several times with soccer authorities.
"I have spoken to him (Webb) already and he didn't give Mats Hummels a red card so that Mats Hummels can play in the final.
"There were 18 minutes left in the match. I come to the conclusion that in the end Webb is as good a referee as he is a person, with a big heart.
"Because he let a player off a red card to the detriment of the other team."
A third exit in succession at the semi-final stage prompted further questions on his future at the Madrid club.
The former Porto and Inter Milan boss has been surrounded by rumours that he might leave the Spanish giants at the end of the season with England his most likely destination despite having a contract until 2016.
"I know I am loved in England, I am loved by the fans and the media," Mourinho told a news conference.
"They treat me fairly. They give me credit when it is due and criticise when it is deserved.
"I am loved by some clubs, especially one," he added referring to Chelsea. "In Spain it is different, some people hate me, many of you in this room.
"It is a difficult decision. I like the club (Real) the president, we have a good team. I need to be honest and fair.
"We will sit down and talk at the end of the season."
Dortmund will play Bayern Munich or Barcelona, who meet on Wednesday with the Bundesliga champions holding a 4-0 advantage from the first leg, in the May 25 final at Wembley stadium.