Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has defended his inflammatory comments accusing UEFA of bias in Barcelona’s favour.
Mourinho claimed Barca systematically dived to influence the referee during the Catalan club’s 2-0 victory in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Real finished the match with 10 men after Pepe was sent off for a tackle on Dani Alves in the 61st minute.
It was the fifth time in the last five matches a team coached by Mourinho had a player dismissed against Barcelona.
The Portuguese manager believes video and picture evidence show Pepe winning the ball cleanly.
“An image is worth more than a thousand words, and they have all circled the Earth,” Mourinho said.
“I said what I said and I have nothing to add. Whoever criticises my words must criticise the images and think that the photos have been edited by Photoshop and that the video was staged. That is not the case. They are real photos and images.”
“I asked a question. I didn’t make accusations. I asked, ‘Why?’ Perhaps I will die without knowing the answer.”
Barca have formally requested UEFA investigate and sanction Real over the accusations of bias.
In response, the club from the Spanish capital have lodged their own complaint with the European governing body, asking UEFA to look into Barca’s alleged tactic of simulation.
Mourinho has no intention of allowing the controversy surrounding his comments to force him out of the Bernabeu.
“I now have even more desire to continue coaching Real Madrid because of what this club represents,” he said.
“The shirt is white and white has a meaning.”
Mourinho’s side visit Real Zaragoza in La Liga on Saturday, with Lassana Diarra, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo to be rested ahead of the second leg against Barca.
“Lass and Xabi Alonso are physically exhausted because they spent too much time playing 11 on 10,” Mourinho said.
“We don’t have many midfielders and they need to be fit to play next Tuesday.”
“Cristiano will not suit up because we have enough options in attack with (Gonzalo) Higuian, (Karim) Benzema and (Emmanuel) Adebayor.”
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