Mourinho to leave Real Madrid at end of season

Madrid, May 21 (IANS) Jose Mourinho’s three-year term as coach of Spanish football giants Real Madrid will end June 30.

Club President Florentino Perez confirmed the news Monday at a press conference held in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium following a meeting of the club’s Board of Directors, Xinhua reports.

Despite having a contract with the club until the end of June 2016, Mourinho will abandon the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after winning just one Copa del Rey (2011), one League title (2012) and the Spanish Supercup at the start of the current campaign.

Perez said the club had “reached agreement with Mourinho to finalise our relationship”, and then thanked him for his three years in charge and his “dedication to Real Madrid”.

The announcement comes just three days after Real Madrid were beaten 1-2 by local rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, which was held at Bernabeu Friday night. It was the first time Atletico have defeated Real Madrid in 14 years and many blamed Mourinho’s team selection for the defeat.

Mourinho continued with Diego Lopez in goal ahead of Spain and Madrid captain, Iker Casillas, while Raul Albiol played in central defence ahead of Pepe, who was has not played since saying Casillas deserved respect.

Mourinho was also sent off in the game, and along with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was also sent off, is thought to have upset his club President by not accepting his runners-up medal from King Juan Carlos of Spain.

These are the latest in a series of controversies which have blighted Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid, among which were his aggression against current Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova in the final of the 2012 Supercup.

Mourinho walked up behind Vilanova, who at that time was assistant coach and stuck his finger in his eye, for which he was given a four game ban.

The coach also had incidents, such as confronting referee, Teixeira Vitienes, in the car park of the Camp Nou Stadium after his side had been knocked out of the 2012 Spanish Cup by Barcelona, or his decision to challenge the crowd to boo him ahead of the league game at home to Atletico Madrid earlier this season.

He has had a difficult relationship with referees in Spain, publicly criticizing them on occasions over decisions which have gone against his side.

However, the determining factor has been his deteriorating relationship with Casillas, who has not played since recovering from a broken finger he suffered in late January.

Mourinho preferred Diego Lopez, who was signed from Sevilla to cover for the Spain international and recently said Casillas would not be first choice again while he was at the club.

Most put this decision down to the bad relationship between the pair, although Casillas’ journalist girlfriend, Sara Carbonero certainly did not help matters when she announced on Mexican TV there was a bad relationship in the club dressing room.

As well as losing to Atletico in the Spanish Cup, Real Madrid lost in the semi-finals of the Champions League to Borussia Dortmund and are 11 points behind FC Barcelona in the Primera Liga with just two game left to play.

Speaking after the Cup defeat Friday, Mourinho said though many clubs would be pleased with these achievements, it was the worst season he has had as a club coach.

Perez will stand for re-election as club president in elections to be held July 16 but he must take some of the blame for Mourinho’s failure at Real Madrid.

Perez allowed Mourinho increasing powers and dispensed the services of director of sport, Jorge Valdano, who has influence over signings.

Mourinho is now likely to return to Chelsea where he enjoyed considerable success, winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups between June 2004 and September 2007.

Paris Saint Germain coach, Carlo Ancelotti looks likely to replace Mourinho after it was confirmed he has asked to leave the French club. However, Paris want Ancelotti to see out the remaining year on his contract and Madrid may have to pay compensation in order to bring the experienced Italian coach to Spain.

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