Jose Mourinho was last night trying to put behind him the disappointments of Real Madrid's Champions League exit by signing the highly-rated Turkish playmaker Nuri Sahin from Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old midfielder is expected to move to Real in the close season and will be the club's third signing from the Bundesliga in the last year following Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, with whom Sahin shares an agent, Reza Facelli.
One of Sahin's team-mate with Borussia, the new Bundesliga champions, Lucas Barrios said yesterday: "Madrid are buying a superb player – someone who can play in central midfield alongside Xabi Alonso."
The unsavoury nature of his side's Champions League defeat by Barcelona has strengthened Mourinho's resolve to stay at the Bernabeu. "The second season is always better," he said. "I want to be here for that." With Mourinho's Uefa punishment for comments made after the semi-final first leg to be judged by Uefa tomorrow the Real coach was keeping his counsel yesterday but after Cristiano Ronaldo's claims that Barcelona taught players how to cheat came the response from Dani Alves that Real were simply bad losers.
"In football you have to know how to take defeat," said the Barcelona defender. "The difference between Barcelona and other teams is that when Barcelona lose they congratulate their rival. There are other teams who do not know how to accept defeat. They are bad losers and it's a shame because it is bad for the image of football."
Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa both shook hands with Barcelona players at the final whistle but most of their team-mates went to applaud their own supporters and then disappeared down the tunnel.
Mourinho and Ronaldo had still not accepted defeat in the early hours of yesterday. Both were filmed walking through Barcelona's El Prat airport making a hand gesture commonly recognised in Spain to mean robbery. Ronaldo even mouthed the word as he walked past television cameras.
There were no shortage of Real figures to join in the criticism of Mourinho. Former president Ramon Calderon said the Portuguese would be lucky to stay in a job after his behaviour throughout the series of four clasicos. "I think what he did in terms of talking about Uefa and referees is not acceptable at all," he said. "It doesn't match with Real Madrid's history."