Sour grapes from Jose Mourinho, or another Fifa conspiracy? The former Chelsea coach has labelled the Fifa voting system for last year’s World Coach of the Year as “irregular” after he was pipped to the title by Vincente Del Bosque.
The Portuguese refused to attend the 2012 Ballon d’Or award ceremony, claiming that he should have won the title rather than the Spaniard. He said: “More than one person, two or three people, phoned me to say they'd voted for me and that their vote ended up going to someone else. So I decided not to go.
"Fifa was aware of these irregularities, knowing they were there, but did nothing to avoid them," he continued.
The governing body for world football moved quickly to deny Mourinho’s assertions, but his statements have since been backed up by one of his former players, Goran Pandev. The Macadonian, who won the Champions League with the current Real Madrid coach at Inter Milan, confirmed that his vote was wrongly given to Del Bosque.
“According to the Fifa list I voted for Vicente Del Bosque, but I voted for Mourinho. I even called him and said I’d vote for him. Unfortunately, odd things happen at Fifa,” he said.
The Spain coach, who was nominated alongside Mourinho and compatriot Pep Guardiola for the award, was defiant after hearing the comments and branded the two-time Champions League winner “childish”. However, he insists he the claims have left him unconcerned.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. We are 48 hours from an important game against Finland and I am not worried about anything other than this,” said Del Bosque.
The former Madrid coach took more than a third of the votes to win the award, compared to the 20 per cent won by his controversial adversary.