José Mourinho needs love, Barcelona need a miracle

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Having come so near (well, nearish) to reaching the Champions League final, there were a fair few moans, groans and tears from the Real Madrid players after their whopping semi-final epic against Borussia Dortmund. Yet one player remained relatively straight-faced - a certain goalkeeper and club captain who spent the evening sat on the bench, and would have done the same at Wembley, had Real Madrid prevailed. La Liga Loca imagines that may not have been a fun experience.

While early misses from the Real Madrid forward line ultimately cost the side what would've been an incredible victory against Dortmund, the crowd certainly didn't let the side down. The noise in the opening ten minutes and closing period was as loud as anything the blog can remember in Real Madrid’s back yard.

However, the German side were worthy winners over the two legs, although this will be overlooked a little in the Madrid press thanks to one or two thunder-stealing post-match revelations from José Mourinho. This is why ITV should be applauded for cutting off the Madrid coach just before his possible “I’m off to Chelsea” confession.

Still, Mourinho saved a few zingers for the press conference, with a “nobody likes me and I do care” diatribe admitting that “of course, I want to be where people love me without reservation, where they love all aspects of me.”

The soon-to-be-departing Madrid manager revealed that “in England, they love me. Especially one club.” A great day for Port Vale is around the corner perhaps, unless LLL’s tea-leaves are very much wrong this morning.

There will be plenty of time to digest Mourinho’s latest moans over the weeks to come, but for the moment, the local papers are still clutching their tissues thinking about what might have been, had Real Madrid tried a little harder at winning an injury time penalty. “I believed,” declared Marca’s headline on Wednesday.

“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. Goodbye to the Champions League final,” wrote AS editor, Alfredo Relaño. “But a great goodbye, a suffered goodbye after an assault on the castle that was the 4-1 from the first leg.” Poor Tomás Roncero is a little distraught after a third successive semi-final failure, and slams the “cowardly” Howard Webb for not giving Cristiano Ronaldo a late penalty, even though that was probably the brave move to make considering the stadium the referee was in at the time. The AS columnist also has some parting words for José Mourinho, writing that “in three years he never understood the greatness of this club. I feel more part of Madrid than ever.”

Over in the Catalan capital, Sport are all with the nastiness with the headline of “Goodbye Mou! Disaster complete.” Inside, Josep Maria Casanovas opines that a similar night of drama in the Camp Nou is unlikely with Barcelona 4-0 down to Bayern Munich. “Don’t be mistaken, we are not pessimistic, we are realistic. But despite this, Barcelona should not give up anything for lost. Mundo Deportivo are only half gloating at Real Madrid’s misery, with a split front cover that boasts of “Barça pride” and chuckles at “Goodbye to The Tenth.”

Although a 4-0 deficit has never been overturned in the Champions League, the Barça camp are doing their duty by talking a good fight. “If there’s one team that can comeback from 4-0, it’s Barça. If we fall short, then we have to fall short well,” said Tito Vilanova. Gerard Piqué rather tickled LLL’s tummy by saying that “it’s a day to be kids again, to believe and to stop having the common sense that characterises us.”

If there’s one thing Real Madrid have taught Barça, it’s that goals are fairly important in football, and teams often have a tendency to fall to pieces once one or two have been scored. Much like their rivals on Tuesday night, Barcelona have to score early to have a chance, but a couple of moments of Messi magic before half time...and Piqué’s dreams may come true.