If there is, as Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho insists, some sort of UEFA conspiracy to fuck his side out of the Champions League final, let’s give the forces of corruption full credit. Perhaps they’re not Barcelona sympathizers nearly as much as they enjoy listening to The Special One work the microphone like no one else in professional sports. The Guardian’s Sid Lowe scribbled furiously as Mourinho raged against favoritism towards Barca (“I don’t know if it is the Unicef sponsorship or if it is because they are nice guys”) and insisted, “tonight we have seen that we do not have any chance” after his side came out on the short end of a 2-0 home loss in the first leg of their CL semi-final.
Mourinho accused Barcelona of wielding untouchable power in European football and said their coach, Pep Guardiola, should feel “ashamed” if he wins a competition that “yet again” is engulfed in “scandal”. Barcelona also had a man sent off, their substitute goalkeeper, José Pinto, for his role in a mass brawl as the teams left the field at half-time. The incident was one of numerous flashpoints.
“One day,” Mourinho said, pointedly using the Barcelona coach’s full name, “I would like Josep Guardiola to win this competition properly.” That was a reference to the controversial semi-final victory of Guardiola’s team over Chelsea en route to their triumph in 2009.
“If I tell Uefa what I really think and feel, my career would end now,” Mourinho said. “Instead I will just ask a question to which I hope one day to get a response: Why? Why? Why Ovrebo? Why Busacca? Why De Bleeckere? Why Stark? Why? Because every semi-final the same things happen. We are talking about an absolutely fantastic football team, so why do they need that? Why? Why does a team as good as they are need something [extra] that is so obvious that everyone sees it?
“Why Ovrebo [two] years ago [when the Norwegian referee did not give Chelsea a series of penalties against Barcelona]? Why couldn’t Chelsea go to the final? Last year it was a miracle that Inter got there playing with 10 men for so long. A miracle. Why weren’t there four penalties against Chelsea [in 2009]? Why send off [Arsenal's Robin] Van Persie [in the last 16]? Where does their power come from?”