Last Update 22:7
Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Zidane speaks out in defence of Pepe and Mourinho

Zinedine Zidane has jumped to the defence of Pepe and Jose Mourinho, who have both been subject to intense criticism in local media after Real Madrid’s King’s Cup defeat to Barcelona during the week

Reuters, Friday 20 Jan 2012
Zinedine Zidane
Views: 2017
Views: 2017

Mourinho’s “negative” tactics in the 2-1 quarter-final first leg home loss and Pepe’s stamp on Lionel Messi’s hand have seen the normally supportive Madrid-based press turning on the Portuguese pair since Wednesday’s game.

“Pepe is a player you almost never hear a squeak from off the pitch. He’s a charming lad, very polite. But when he goes on the pitch, he is obsessed with winning and this anxiety to win sees him make mistakes.

“Obviously he has apologised for what he has done, but Pepe is a player who gives his all on the field of play, and sometimes he goes to the limit,” added Zidane, who was brought in to work with Mourinho as first team director of football last July.

Madrid sports dailies AS and Marca both continued their attacks on Pepe and Mourinho on Friday.

Marca questioned the club’s decision to support Pepe by recording a message through their television channel on Thursday, in which he said standing on Messi’s hand had been unintentional.

“Pepe has distorted reality and made Real Madrid complicit in an action which has shamed the club’s fans,” a Marca opinion piece said, when he “should have faced the facts and asked for forgiveness”.

Their leading story, titled “The seven sins of Mourinho”, knocked the former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach’s tactics, choice of personnel, substitutions and post-match analysis.

Zidane said of the attacks on Mourinho: “How can they say we need a change of coach? Are they mad or what? Look at the statistics since he has been here, they are incredible.

“To think that some doubt his commitment to Madrid and that he will stay only two years and then go. Sincerely, I would prefer that he stayed only two or three years and did something great, to someone else who stayed ten and did nothing.”

Leaders Real Madrid host Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday and will then seek to overturn their King’s Cup deficit in the second leg at Barcelona next Wednesday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.