Mourinho refuses to back down over criticism of Barcelona

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The Independent Football

Hostilities between Real Madrid and Barcelona show no signs of abating as the two sides prepare for their first league matches since both reported the other to European football's governing body Uefa.

Jose Mourinho said images posted on Real Madrid's website that showed Barcelona players feigning injuries "spoke more than a thousand words". He also said the events of the last few days had only hardened his resolve to stay at the club into next season.

Pep Guardiola said he would only address questions about Real Madrid next week on the eve of the second leg. Asked if he thought his players dived and play-acted he said: "I will answer that on Monday." Mourinho was unrepentant over comments he made after the semi-final first leg. "All I did was ask a question. I did not accuse anybody," he said. "I just asked why? I don't want to talk any more about it because a picture says more than a thousand words. There are enough images going around the world so that makes a lot of words.

"The images are there. Anyone who criticises the things I said is criticising the pictures and the video and implying that they are photo-montages or digitally altered images and they are not. The images say it all."

Mourinho added: "I am more determined than ever to continue here." He surprised everyone by leaving Cristiano Ronaldo out of the squad to face Real Zaragoza today, fuelling speculation there is growing tension between the two.

He explained the absence of Xabi Alonso and Marcelo, who are also rested, saying they were exhausted. But when asked to explain Ronaldo's omission he would only say: "It's my decision."

Ronaldo was critical of Madrid's defensive tactics against Barcelona, saying: "I don't like it but I have to adapt to what they ask me to do." When asked if he was unhappy about comments made by his player, Mourinho said: "No, I have no problem. He has his opinions."

Ronaldo misses out on the chance to add to the 29 league goals he has scored in 30 games this season. He is two goals behind Leo Messi and nine behind La Liga's all-time record of 38 league goals for a season. Guardiola will rest defender Carles Puyol for the trip to Real Sociedad.