Barca row stiffens Mourinho resolve

MADRID - Jose Mourinho is more determined than ever to continue as Real Madrid coach despite Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League defeat by Barcelona and the disciplinary case he faces for his post-match comments.

"I have more desire to continue as coach of Real Madrid," Mourinho, whose side's next game is at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday, told a news conference.

"The (Real) shirt is white and white has meaning," the 48-year-old former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan manager added. "I am in very good shape. My health is perfect and I am working as always."

Mourinho, who joined Real from Inter at the end of last season, reacted to the dismissal of midfielder Pepe on Wednesday by implying that UEFA and their referees favoured Barcelona.

As well as a probe by UEFA, the bad blood between the arch rivals around their semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu prompted each to file a complaint with European football's governing body about the other.

Barcelona were also furious with Mourinho for belittling coach Pep Guardiola's achievements, while Real accused the Catalan club's players of play-acting.

Mourinho said on Friday he did not want to add to his comments at a post-match news conference, which prompted UEFA to open disciplinary proceedings against him.

"I don't want to speak about the issue for a simple reason: a picture is worth more than words," he said, referring to the thousands of published images of Pepe's challenge on Daniel Alves that resulted in his sending-off.

"I have nothing else to say. I have said what I wanted," added Mourinho, who has been widely criticised for using ultra-defensive tactics in a home tie and failing to field creative players such as Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain.

"Whoever criticises my words criticises the pictures and must think the photos are photoshopped and the videos are altered. I have absolutely nothing else left to say."

QUESTION ASKED

While Real issued a statement on Thursday backing Mourinho, who has been linked in various media with a move back to England or Italy at the end of this season, the reaction to his comments has been mixed.

Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), was quoted as saying in local media that the Portuguese had betrayed the values of his club.

"All I did was ask a question," Mourinho said on Friday. "Why? That was my question. Probably I would die if I tried to give the answer.


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