Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has broken his recent silence with a message of thanks to his club's supporters during which he also insisted that the campaigns against racism and for fair play should not "just be words".
Mourinho has not spoken to the media since being handed a five-match ban by UEFA for his actions during and after the fiery Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at the Bernabeu last month.
That ill-tempered encounter also saw both Spanish rivals lodge complaints against the other to UEFA afterwards, with Barca singling out Mourinho for his controversial post-match comments and Madrid responding by accusing the Catalan club's players of "feigning aggressions" during the clash.
Ahead of the second leg in Barcelona there were also allegations of racism against Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets towards Madrid defender Marcelo in the same game.
UEFA ultimately dismissed those allegations of racism due to "a lack of strong and convincing evidence," while European football's governing body also rejected Madrid's complaint about the supposed actions of Barca's players during the match.
Mourinho appeared to allude to those decisions in today's message to supporters, which was shown on his club's website, saying: "The season has finished and I want to thank the Real Madrid supporters for all the affection and support they have given to both the team and the coaching staff.
"We've worked seriously and with dedication, but obviously we leave to you the analysis the work this squad has done during this last year.
"We will return on July 11 with the same passion and with the same motivation as always to continue trying to dignify the prestige and the incomparable history of Real Madrid.
"Finally, I want to end with a very simple wish, which is that next season we recover certain principles that nobody should ever forget, and which this season some football professionals and some institutions have sometimes forgotten, and which must be the basis of our sport.
"To talk of fair-play, of respect to your opponents and of the red card to racism must not just be words, they must be facts.
"I repeat, I have the hope that next season we can recover for our sport these absolutely fundamental principles."
In the wake of the incidents from the Champions League semi, which Barca won 3-1 on aggregate to progress through to a final showdown with Manchester United at Wembley, UEFA's control and disciplinary body announced various sanctions.
Mourinho, who was sent off in the first leg for his reaction to Pepe's second-half red card, was also fined 50,000 euros as well as his five-match ban - one of which he served in the second leg and another of which is suspended.
Madrid midfielder Pepe was given a one-game ban, which he served in the second leg, for his sending off, while the capital club were also fined 20,000 euros for the behaviour of their fans.
Barca reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto, who was red-carded after a scuffle at half-time at the Bernabeu, was given a three-game ban.
Mourinho's comments before and after the semi-final first leg caused a huge controversy.
Prior to the game he hit out at opposite number Pep Guardiola and then following his side's defeat he insinuated Barca receive favourable treatment from the authorities and claimed the Catalan club had yet to win a "clean" Champions League title under Guardiola.
This was Mourinho's first season in charge of Madrid, with whom he won the Copa del Rey with victory over Barca in the final and finished second to Guardiola's side in the Primera Division.Reuse content