Mourinho says ‘Pep,’ Guardiola says, ‘Hey, Jose’
[REAL MADRID-BARCELONA] If the job of a coach is to deflect pre-game attention from his players, Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho succeeded wildly. On the eve of the first leg of their UEFA Champions League clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Guardiola snapped at Mourinho in a rare display of anger, gifting the Portuguese coach the “off-field Champions League prize.”
In response to Mourinho’s charges that Guardiola went too far in its comments about the potential refereeing and Mourinho’s own comments about refereeing, Guardiola went into an assault on the Portuguese coach laced with the Spanish expletive “puto.”
“He’s the [expletive] boss, the [expletive] master and I can’t compete with him at any instant,” Guardiola said at the Bernabeu. “Off the field, he’s already beaten me. I gift him this off-field Champions League prize. I hope he takes it home and enjoys it. I’d just remind him that that we worked together for four years.”
(Guardiola was a player and Mourinho was an assistant coach together at Barcelona.)
Mourinho wound Guardiola up with references to Guardiola’s reported comments about Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca being a perfect choice for the Portuguese Mourinho — “We now enter a new phase of criticizing the origin of a referee. I’ve never seen this before,” said the Real Madrid coach — and complaints that calls always seem to go Barcelona’s way, referring to the 2009 semifinals against Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Mourinho’s use of Guardiola’s nickname of “Pep” instead of the formal “Josep” infuriated the Barca boss.
“I respond to him because it’s the first time he says Pep,” said Guardiola. “We normally talk in general terms and it’s the first time he says Pep, so I say Jose. I have to respond. Today is the first time [I respond]. If he says Pep, I will continue and I will say ‘Hey Jose.”’