Jose Mourinho talks smack on Real Madrid: Shots Fired!

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on March 16, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on March 16, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images) /
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Jose Mourinho is coming under pressure at Manchester United after their disappointing exit in the Champions League. Now, he’s lashing out at Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho is back at his mind games. A classic play from the Mourinho playbook: when results turn sour, turn the focus to anything but the bad performances. The referees, other managers, your own players, the media, anyone can become a target whenever Jose is feeling cranky and unloved.

Now it seems that Mourinho’s former club Real Madrid have drawn the ire of the under-fire Portuguese manager. Marca reported on Friday that Mourinho decided to drag Madrid’s name through the muck in an attempt to justify Manchester United’s embarrassing loss at home to Sevilla. Mourinho began by saying that Manchester United (perhaps the most storied club in English footballing history?) lacks “football heritage” because of their recent string of bad results:

"There is something that I call football heritage. The last time Manchester United won the Champions League, which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2008.This is football heritage and if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 2012/13, and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth.So in the last four years the best was fourth. This is football heritage. It means that when you start the process you are here, you are there or you are there, is heritage."

Then, Jose turned his focus to Real Madrid. Despite coming up with a formula for disrupting  FC Barcelona and pipping them to a league title in 2011-2012 during the era of Pep Guardiola’s dominance, Mourinho’s time at Madrid is remembered by some as a failure due to his inability to win the Champions League.

In a totally unnecessary attempt to explain Madrid’s lack of European Glory during his reign, Mourinho trotted out the “football heritage” claim once again:

"When I arrived in Real Madrid, do you know how many players had played in the quarter-final of the Champions League? Xabi Alonso with Liverpool, Casillas with Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester United. All the others hadn’t even a quarter-final. That’s football heritage."

I’m going to try to be generous to Mourinho, here.  On the surface of things, there’s nothing technically incorrect about what he’s saying. It’s true that when Jose inherited Real Madrid, they had been going through a string of bad results. When Mourinho helped Madrid win the Copa del Rey in his first season in charge (2010-2011), it was the first trophy Madrid had won since the 2007-2008 La Liga trophy. When Jose took that Madrid squad to the UCL semi-finals, it broke a six year streak of Madrid being eliminated in the Champions League round of 16.

So, there’s definitely a kernel of truth to what Jose is saying. Manchester United have been poor in recent seasons. And his arrival at Madrid helped turn around a Madrid squad that had been suffering some bad results in seasons past.

But this is Jose Mourinho we’re talking about here: Mourinho, AKA “The Translator.” Mourinho picks his words carefully. He knows exactly what he is doing and what he is saying at any given moment. And he is no stranger to making inflammatory comments to stir up controversy to help distract from his poor performances.

Saying that either Real Madrid or Manchester United lack “football heritage” is ludicrous, regardless of whether those words are surrounded by a number of other truthful statements or not. Singling out two of the biggest and most successful clubs in footballing history for lacking “football heritage” is going to rile fans of both outfits regardless of his stated intentions.

Next: Mateo Kovacic stepping up to the plate

One has to wonder when Mourinho’s mind-games will finally wear thin enough on the fans of Manchester United for him to lose yet another job. I, for one, am just glad that we don’t have to deal with it anymore on a week-to-week basis. Maybe keep your thoughts to yourself on this one, Jose?

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more Real Madrid coverage.