Jose Mourinho was last night handed a two-match touchline ban and a ¤40,000 (£34,000) fine by Uefa for instructing two of his Real Madrid players to get themselves sent off against Ajax in the Champions League eight days ago.
The second game of the ban is suspended for three years meaning the Real coach will only miss the club's next match against Auxerre – the very game he wanted his players to sit out when he told them to pick up second yellows last week. The club were also fined ¤120,000 with fines given to reserve-team and first-team goalkeepers Jerzy Dudek (¤5,000) and Iker Casillas (¤10,000) as well as the sent off players – Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos (¤20,000 each).
It is the first time Uefa has banned a coach for this offence but those who spoke out against Mourinho's cynical twisting of the rules will be disappointed that a second game was not added to Alonso and Ramos's one-match bans.
Mourinho was due to take his first training session since Monday's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona and yesterday the Spanish champions' midfielder Xavi warned there is even more to come.
The scorer of the first goal in the massacre at the Nou Camp said the victory was a new high but that there was still so much more a team, now being talked about as the best in history, could achieve.
Xavi said: "We are playing better than in our first season [under coach Pep Guardiola]. And although we have won a lot of trophies there are still a lot left for us to win."
He swerved questions over his team's place in the all-time pecking order but added: "The 6-2 win [in May last year] at the Bernabeu was a perfect result but this one was even better because of the way we played. It was an incredible feeling to be so superior to them. It feels great to be a Barcelona fan right now, and they [the Madrid players] must be feeling terrible."
The Barça midfielder is now favourite to win European Footballer of the Year next month and he added: "If I or Andres [Iniesta] win the award then it will be an award for the philosophy of this fantastic club and for the style of play that we have been practising for the last 30 years."
One man who will not be on Fifa's top table is Cristiano Ronaldo who once again failed to score against the Gerard Pique/Carles Puyol combination. When Barça beat Almeria 8-0 last week Ronaldo was asked if he thought the win would affect the Clasico to which he replied: "Let's see if they can score eight past us." No one could have imagined how close they would come as Mourinho suffered the worst defeat of his career.
Last night the Real Madrid coach received support from the club's director general Jorge Valdano who said: "We can use the game to learn important lessons and to mature. We have to accept the defeat and carry on and hopefully in the second half of the season when the two teams meet again it will be us giving the exhibition. He [Mourinho] was impeccable in the way he conducted himself during the match."