Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said the situation at Real Madrid was hard to understand as the row between Jose Mourinho and Iker Casillas escalates.
Mourinho did not speak about his future over the weekend, but the consensus that his days are numbered at Real Madrid has hardened in the Spanish media. The coach’s trip to Ikea on Sunday morning, when according to Spanish TV show Punto Pelota he spent €200 on packing materials, was taken as evidence that a return to England was close.
Pepe saying Mourinho “should have more respect” for club captain Casillas after Saturday’s 4-3 Primera Division win over Real Valladolid, which followed Cristiano Ronaldo’s insistence that “the coach’s future does not concern me” after the Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund a few days before, also added to the feeling that the Madrid players have had enough of their coach.
Sergio Ramos, who missed his side’s win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu through injury, dodged the issue while attending the Jerez MotoGP.
“I am here to talk about motorbikes and not football,” Ramos told AS. “Everyone makes their own personal decisions.”
When pressed about his own relationship with Mourinho, Ramos smiled and returned the subject to motorsport, saying: “Nothing new. Just motos, motos and motos again.”
A request for support for his long-time club and international team-mate Casillas got a one-word answer: “Always.”
Iniesta, who plays alongside Casillas and Ramos for the Spanish national team, told Onda Cero after Barca’s 4-2 La Liga win over Real Betis that it looked to him like something strange was going on at the Bernabeu.
“From this distance you do not understand the situation, given what Iker has always represented and what he still represents now,” he said. “Not just that he is not playing, but the things that you hear. It is a difficult situation. Diego Lopez is playing very well, and is a great player. But I am not talking about the sporting situation, but the things that you hear.”
Back in the Spanish capital, young striker Jese Rodriguez scored his 21st goal of the season in Madrid’s 2-0 win at home to Murcia, equaling the Madrid youth side’s Segunda Division goal-scoring record set by future legend Emilio Butragueno in 1983-84.
Jese, who claimed the golden boot as Spain won the 2012 European Under-19 championships, last hit the headlines when telling Marca in February that he would leave Madrid if not given more first-team chances by Mourinho. The youngster, 20, stuck to less controversial subjects after Sunday’s game.
“The win leaves a fantastic taste in our mouths, another at home,” Jese said. “To go level on goals with a legend like Butragueno is an honour.”