From feuding with his own players to waiting for referees at their cars after matches to jamming his fingers in Tito Vilanova's eyeball, Jose Mourinho's three years at Real Madrid featured many entertainingly villainous moments. Now that it's been made official that the man who disrupted Barcelona's serene reign atop Spanish football will leave at the end of the season, Barca vice president Carles Vilarrubi has said what everyone at his club is probably thinking.
From Football Espana:
“I said this three years ago through other means and now that he is no longer Coach I can repeat what I thought then, that Mourinho would be a scourge on Spanish football. Now he no longer is,” Vilarrubi declared on Radio Catalunya.
“Seeing him leave is positive for Spanish football because he did not make for a positive climate.
“Madrid don’t care, although results have not accompanied him.”
You can quibble about the climate Mourinho helped create and how the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona might have been at its all-time best as a direct result of Mourinho's involvement, but the frequently repeated claim that "results have not accompanied" his time in Madrid is wrong. And the mere fact that Barcelona are so happy to see him go makes that clear. If he was an easily defeated jerk, they wouldn't care about him.
Only Miguel Munoz and Vicente Del Bosque have coached more matches than Mourinho at Real Madrid in the club's entire history. Though both won more trophies, Mourinho has a far superior winning percentage (73 percent versus 59 and 54 percent, respectively). In fact, only Mourinho short-lived predecessor, Manuel Pellegrini had a better winning percentage at Real Madrid (75 percent).
Prior to Mourinho's arrival, Real Madrid had not won La Liga in two years. Last season he not only kept Barcelona from winning it for a fourth straight season, but set a points record (100) on the way to claiming the title. In his first season, he won Real Madrid's first Copa del Rey in 20 years (Real went through 20 managerial changes in that span). In the Champions League, he could not deliver the club's first European Cup since 2002, but as he stressed in a recent press conference defending his record, he did reach the semifinals three straight seasons after Real Madrid's 18 different managers in the previous 21 years only reached a total of five semifinals. In the three years before his arrival, they couldn't get past the round of 16.
Did Mourinho win as many trophies as Pep Guardiola did at Barcelona? Of course not. But it could be argued that the difference in culture at the two clubs prevented that long before Mourinho even arrived. Barcelona have had half as many managers in the last 20 years as Real Madrid and they haven't had to deal with Florentino Perez twice assembling Galactico squads based more on superstar name recognition than cohesion on the pitch.
But, Mourinho's abrasive reign at Real Madrid means that anything short of three straight trebles would've been seen as failure because it's easy to find faults in someone you hate with every fiber of your being.
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