Mourinho caught out planning a car-park ambush for referee


Jose Mourinho may have taken tunnel bust-ups to a new level after he was accused of waiting for the referee following Real Madrid's Spanish Cup exit to Barcelona in the underground car park at the Nou Camp on Wednesday. The claims were made by one of Barcelona's daily sports papers, El Mundo Deportivo.

The paper pictured Mourinho appearing to lean on a car in the match officials' parking bays at the stadium. "Quite the artist, how you like to screw the professionals" was what the paper reported a witness hearing Mourinho say to referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes who, Real felt, had played insufficient added time and wrongly sent off defender Sergio Ramos as well as incorrectly ruling out his second-half goal and missing two possible first-half handballs in the Barcelona penalty area. Real drew 2-2 to go out 4-3 on aggregate.

Mourinho had been restrained in the post-match press conference and claimed his players had said: "It's impossible to win here [at Barça]," while making no direct reference to the referee.

Yesterday was a mixed day for Mourinho. Another accusation of misconduct following another cup exit at the hands of his club's main rivals, but he also celebrated his 49th birthday and was presented with a cake ahead of training. The cake was brought out by the Real club captains Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas (below), who had been involved in the training-ground spat with their coach six days earlier. The squad then sang "Happy Birthday".

Meanwhile, Barcelona were counting the cost of more injuries. Andres Iniesta will be out for three weeks with a muscle tear and Alexis Sanchez has a shoulder problem that will mean he misses this weekend's trip to Villarreal.