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Jose Mourinho - former manager of real madrid, currently Manchester united manager

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Iniesta speaks about Mourinho’s use of head games and their affect on the Spanish national team

Is Jose Mourinho a man that likely to cause chaos in order to achieve his personal goals? Many football spectators would believe so. Now, former Barcelona and Spain captain, Andres Iniesta, further gives weight to these claims, recalling a time when the manager used such tactics while managing in La Liga. 

Andres Iniesta is often regarded as one of the best midfielders in the history of the beautiful game and, regularly, is admired for being a player that knows to stray away from unneeded drama. Yet even the soft spoken Spaniard has felt the need to call out Jose Mourinho for stoking the fires of conflict while managing in Spain.

Jose Mourinho was the manager of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013. During that time, the rivalry between Barcelona and Real, Spain’s most prestigious teams, reached an all time peak. The friendly rivalry often felt ready to boil over into full blown fights, as fans of El Clasico encounters may recall.  Iniesta, now playing for Vissel Kobe says that the manager was well aware of the repercussions of his actions and that they created a good deal of damage for Spanish players.

“You don’t have to be for Barcelona or Real Madrid to know that the situation was unpleasant. And the key component in that story was Mourinho,” Iniesta tells Marca.

“Whoever doesn’t want to see that, is radical. You didn’t see the rivalry that always existed before, it went beyond that, you saw hate. That atmosphere developed and it was unbearable.”

Andres Iniesta - former Barcelona player, currently playing for Kobe Vissel

Iniesta was a key component of Spain’s most successful national team, one that triumphed in both the World Cup and Euro tournaments. But the player says that the rivalry extended to the atmosphere of the national team, with many Barca and Real players representing Spain.

“The Barca-Madrid tension caused by Mourinho did much damage to the national team [Spain] and the teammates.”

It’s an interesting insight into Mourinho’s tactics, a manager both lauded and reviled for his disruptive strategies. The Portuguese, now the manager of Manchester United, has a history of such tactics that include personal insults directed towards the opposition’s managers, odd press statements meant to give a distorted impression of the actual events and targeting certain players with his statements.

Mourinho, one of the most successful managers of the recent football era, has earned a number of detractors, even, perhaps, enemies, since joining Manchester United, with several members of United’s  famous 1990’s team, going on to criticize the Special One. Then there was his time in charge of Chelsea, fueled by no fewer controversies.

Meanwhile, United is slouching in a disappointing seventh place in the Premier League. Will the team be able to get back on track and attack one of the places that would allow them to play Champions League football next season? The soonest indicator will come on Saturday, when The Red Devils travel to Southampton. The match, as well as all of the other Premier League clashes, will be hosted through a free to join contest on the FootballCoin fantasy football platform.

Eduard Bănulescu

 

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