Jose Mourinho has taken an apparent swipe at goalkeeper Iker Casillas, claiming he regrets not signing Diego Lopez sooner.
The 31-year-old was brought in from Sevilla in January after Casillas had broken his hand, but the Portuguese revealed he wanted to sign Lopez earlier, while hinting that the Spain captain had rebelled against Mourinho’s training methods.
“My players like to be treated the same way. They want a coach who coaches with his head and if that happens there is no problem,” he said. “The problem happens when someone thinks he is above the rest.
“I should have been more proactive at the end of the first season, more demanding and more insistent. We should have brought in Diego Lopez then. I asked but he didn’t come.
“I didn’t do enough to bring him in and that’s a pity.”
Mourinho is widely expected to depart the Bernabeu at the end of the season having pipped Barcelona to the Liga title just once in his three seasons at the club, while also falling at the semi-final stage of the UEFA Champions League in each of his terms in charge.
The 50-year-old insisted that his time in charge has been a great success and that any perceived disappointment is down to the magnitude of his past achievements.
He continued: “I have always left clubs in the right way. Even Chelsea, which seemed controversial, wasn’t so much. The day I go it will be wishing Madrid the best for the future.
“Chelsea did not win the European Cup with me but I was just as pleased when they won it. Madrid will always be special and I want them to win their 10th European Cup.
“It is my fault. I have won so, so, so much that it is hard to live up to those expectations. But the points record in the league is mine and no one can take that away.
“Madrid had gone 20 years without a Copa del Rey success and we won that, so maybe it’s not so easy. No one can take that away.
“(The team had)18 coaches in 21 years, five semi-finals. Meanwhile, that rubbish Mourinho (reached) three in three years. Three in three after five in 21 years? That shows that it is not easy.
“One hundred points is not easy to beat. Barcelona are probably the best team in the world in the last 20-30 years and that gives even greater value to what we achieved.”