If GIF doesn’t work, go to 6:48 and watch until 7:20 in the below video!
– Net missing before Madrid’s final training session
– Real Madrid director Jorge Valdano accuses Barca of picking on team
Reuters, Tuesday 19 April 2011 18.30 GMT
An inexplicable loss of nets in the Mestalla stadium in Valencia has fierce rivals Real Madrid, who FC Barcelona take on in the much anticipated Copa del Rey final tomorrow, claiming a conspiracy and a form of mind games by Barcelona ahead of the match.
The nets were seen missing from goal-nets and groundsmen could not find more nets to replace them with. FC Barcelona, who were training just hours before the nets went missing, refused to comment.
Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano believes foul play has occurred. He told radio station Cadena Ser: “I once said every team that is good to the ball, is good to the public. It’s still true, but Barcelona have not been good to the public. [Because] we are Real Madrid and we are the richest club in the world. Everyone loves us and we deserve more respect – we’ve earned it.”
He also claims other teams would be treated differently. “I think it’s pretty sh*tty of them to do that to us. So sh*tty that they could even put it on a stick and take it all the way to Liverpool. In fact, if Liverpool[FC] ever came back to Barcelona, as unlikely as that is seeing their position in the table nowadays, I bet this wouldn’t happen to them, and they even won there before! As a matter of fact, I believe this sort of thing would not happen to any other team.”
Meanwhile, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is up in arms. He told Marca, a Madrid based newspaper: “It’s a disgrace. A f*cking disgrace. When Drogba got sent off I didn’t get surprised. Because it is [a disgrace].
“Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one. Me, and more importantly I, don’t deserve this kind of treatment. If I’m hated in Barcelona, it is their problem not mine.”
This is Mourinho’s first final with Madrid and Barca based newspaper Sport claims Mourinho is just running scared and cannot handle the pressure of such a big occasion.
But Mourinho refutes this claim: “Fear is not a word a word in my football dictionary.
“I am prepared. The more pressure there is, the stronger I am. In Portugal, we say the bigger the ship, the stronger the storm. Fortunately for me, I have always been in big ships. FC Porto was a very big ship in Portugal, Chelsea was also a big ship in England and Inter was a great ship in Italy.
“I don’t care that “Barca” can also be translated into “ship”. I’m at Real Madrid, which is considered the biggest ship on the planet”.
The training session was moved to Petit Camp, a small pitch near the famous Gran Teatre de Liceu opera house in Barcelona.
“It was not the ideal situation, but the players took it with much grace, as expected from players of Real Madrid. The guys here are willing to do anything for the team and that’s what makes me happy.”
Real Madrid play Barcelona on April 19 for the Copa del Rey title.