as de espadas
torero con estoque


Mou: "I'm always the bad guy"

The Portuguese trainer heavily criticised both the club and the players: "If 34-year-old Stepanek can play three games in three days, why can't a 23-year-old play on Wednesday and Saturday?" The referee didn't get off scot-free either.

José Mourinho was pulling no punches in his post match press conference in the Vallamarín stadium as he criticised the club ("I'm always the bad guy"), the referee ("He made two big mistakes") and his players ("Betis were the better side").

Barça's extra rest days: "Obviously if you play on Wednesday you shouldn't have play on a Saturday. Other people control the fixture list, but I'm always the only one to talk about it, just like in Manchester with the referee. I'm always the bad guy."

No excuses: "We're talking here about top professionals that should be able to use other resources when they are fatigued, for instance mental strength or the sacrificing yourself for the team. When I saw 34-year-old Stepanek play three matches in three days in the final of the Davis Cup and saw that he would fight to the death to win for his country, I wondered why 23, 24 or 26-year-olds can't easily play on a Wednesday and a Saturday. In sport it is as much about your heart as your legs, when you are determined to achieve something you find a way."

A good start: "You're being very kind when you say that we started well. We were marginally better at the start than the rest of the game. I always try to be fair and when my team loses I don't want to look for excuses or anything else."

The referee: "I congratulated the Betis players because they gave it all they had and fought from the first the first minute, sacrificing themselves for the good of the team. It's not their fault that Benzema had a goal wrongly disallowed, or that it was a clear penalty in the closing stages. Betis played better than us and fought more than us; although they benefited from the referring mistakes, they deserved the win."

The Betis fans: "It was a difficult week for them because there was a conflict with the players, but they overcame that to support their team and helped them win. I like that. It's the way the fans should be.

Responsibility: "When we win, we all win, some more than others. But when we lose, it's my fault."

La Liga: "By March last season we had a ten point gap at the top, but after a few draws things changed and the league opened up. Tomorrow, there will probably be an eleven point gap, and at the end of the year nine, thirteen or eleven, not three or four. We're neither too optimistic nor too pessimistic. It will be tough. But I'm not just focusing on one competition, I'm thinking one game at a time. Logically, I understand why the fans might be pessimistic."

Estadísticas AS.com