Mourinho feels full force of Spanish FA, as Ronaldo wows with spectacular ceremony

Moral outrage, rare but admirable sarcasm and a spot of burying heads in the sand. These have been the main reactions in the Spanish press to the brutal sanctions handed out by a doddering old codger to José Mourinho and Tito Vilanova as a result of ‘Finger-gate’ - the moment the Madrid manager jabbed his digit into the eye of the Barcelona assistant during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup final nearly two months ago.

The sole judge on the Spanish FA’s Competition Committee, the 85-year-old Alfredo Flórez, cogitated for 49 days before handing out a two match suspension to Mourinho and a one game ban for Vilanova. To make sure both parties really felt the hard sting of his dark glove of justice across their botties, it was decided that these bans would only apply to Spanish Super Cup games. Both parties were also hit with €600 fines, with Madrid and Barcelona as institutions also suffering penalties of €180 and €90 respectively.

“The non-existence of the injury and lack of conclusive proof of the desire to wound on the part of Señor Mourinho,” was the official reason why something more severe was not the response to an incident that even hoodie-hugging Guardian readers would admit should result in a public flogging for the perpetrator (or perpetrators depending on if you believe Florentino’s defence of extreme provocation from the Barça bench).

Not surprisingly, the Catalan press got rather uppity about the verdict, with the front cover of Sport branding the punishment as “a disgrace” - a condemnation shared by Mundo Deportivo. Writing inside the former, Lluís Mascaró apparently agrees with the Spanish FA’s draconian measures and that “Tito Vilanova has been justly punished with a one match suspension for having placed his eye onto Mou’s finger.” “A just punishment that serves as an example,” sarks Mascaró.


Jose didn't appreciate Flórez's eye-for-an-eye punishment...

Santi Nolla, writing in Mundo Deportivo, wafts a finger - the very thing that got Mourinho into trouble in the first place - in Florentino Pérez’s powerful direction and claims that “Flórez is the only judge but he didn’t take the decision alone. He was pressured. No doubt.”

Even AS suggest that the fairly non-existent punishment handed down for a very existent crime whiffs a bit. “A political penalty” notes Thursday’s headline. “Justice wasn’t done, politics was,” writes Alfredo Relaño, the paper’s editor.

Marca have generally ignored the affair and have gone into journalistic la-la land during the international break. Wednesday’s edition boats of José Mourinho’s “football lessons at half-time” - those present at the recent Racing and Levante c*ck-ups may raise an eyebrow - with the paper quoting one source in the dressing room claiming he felt Mourinho could see the future.

A day later Marca once again poured over the pre-match rituals of the squad, and stunned its readership with revelations regarding music being played on the team coach, some players going onto the pitch before the warm-up and others choosing not to. The showpiece moment that really greased Marca’s goolies was Cristiano Ronaldo jumping very high into the air when running onto the pitch. “The most spectacular ceremony” sighs the love-struck paper, before accusing Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso and Raúl Albíol of being “strange” for having no superstitions or rituals at all.

Meanwhile, Hugo Sánchez has continued his eternal campaign to become Real Madrid manager one day with a fine spot of butt-crawling by praising Florentino’s appointment of The Special One. “Madrid need a coach like Mourinho to get back the values they had been losing,” purred the wannabe Bernabeu boss.

If Sánchez really does want to take over at Real Madrid, he may want to consider a more direct approach to get Florentino Pérez’s attention. Like poking the club president in the eye perhaps. After all, it’s now become perfectly acceptable behaviour in la Liga.

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