Florentino Perez joins Jose Mourinho in criticism of Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta

The Real Madrid president defends the club's former coach

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has joined Jose Mourinho in accusing Barcelona players Xavi and Andres Iniesta of sour grapes after the pair hit out at the former Bernabeu coach.

Last week Xavi criticised the Portuguese coach's style of football and declared he "has left no legacy for the future", while Iniesta said the new Chelsea boss had "damaged Spanish football" due to his confrontational style.

In his three years at Madrid Mourinho was the main antagonist in the rivalry between the two biggest clubs in Spain, most famously poking then Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye after a match in August 2011.

Mourinho won Madrid's first league title for four years in 2012 and although Los Blancos lost out on the trophy to the Catalans last season, they overcame Vilanova's side in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and in their last league fixture.

The former Inter boss hit out at Iniesta during his unveiling at Stamford Bridge yesterday, saying: "I damaged Spanish football by being the coach who broke Barcelona's dominance."

And Perez, speaking during an interview with Marca TV, concurred with the 50-year-old's assertion.

"I understand why Xavi and Iniesta are angry with Mourinho, they haven't beaten us in any of the last five games," he said.

"It's not a good strategy to criticise your opponent when you don't win."

Referring to Mourinho's comments, Perez then added: "Mourinho ended Barca's period of always beating Madrid, he was right when he said that."

Mourinho won three trophies in total during his tenure at the Bernabeu while Barca won seven in the same period and Catalan midfielder Cesc Fabregas was quick to laugh off the former Porto manager's comments.

"Madrid ended our hegemony?" he told radio station Onda Cero. "We have just won the league by 15 points."

Real have been heavily linked with a move for Gareth Bale this summer and Perez, while admitting that Madrid would be keen on signing the Tottenham forward, revealed they were not in the process of bidding for him just yet.

"This club always wants to sign the best players and we have a good relationship with Tottenham," he said. "But first we must see who our coach is going to be and from then on we will go about planning our next squad."

One man being linked with a possible move away from the Spanish capital is Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese forward's contract expires in 2015 and speculation has mounted over a possible move back to former club Manchester United.

But Perez has dismissed that talk and believes that Ronaldo will finish his career in Madrid.

"Cristiano will end up retiring in Madrid," he said. "It's his natural place."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement