The Washington Post

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho faces 12-game suspension for eye poke during Madrid-Barcelona brawl

(Watch Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho poke a Barcelona assistant in the eye, here.)


And then I poked him. Right here. (Paul White/AP)

It’s easy to understand Mourinho’s frustration. After all, Barca last lost a La Liga match to Madrid in May, 2008, and has won three straight league titles. Barcelona also has three Champions League titles to its name since Real’s last victory in 2002.

The kettle of frustration boiled over for Mourinho following Lionel Messi’s game-winning goal in the 88th minute of last week’s Spanish Super Cup at Camp Nou.

Benches cleared when Marcelo was sent off for a vicious tackle on newly-signed Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas, and amidst the commotion, Mourinho took the opportunity to poke a Barcelona assistant coach in the eye. The Spanish football federation began to sort out the mess Tuesday and Mourinho could reportedly face a ban of up to 12 matches.

Mourinho apologized to fans on the team’s Web site, but under federation rules, he could be suspended for anywhere between four and 12 games. The assistant coach whose eye was on the receiving end of Mourinho’s finger, Tito Vilanova, could be suspended for four game for a retaliatory shove.

So let’s get this straight. Mourinho tries to gouge out an opposing coach’s eye and could end up with the same punishment as his victim? Yeah, sounds fair.

To make a bad day even worse for Mourinho, the boss was forced to deny reports that he is planning to leave the Spanish club after his official spokesman, Eladio Parames, told a Spanish television station Mourinho was fed up with Madrid.

Mourinho responded to the rumors with some real (or at least attempted) contrition. This from the Guardian:

“Only those who don’t know me can dream, make up or believe I may leave Real Madrid at this stage...

“I believe many people were surprised by the quality football showcased by Real Madrid during the preseason and it would be surprising news to them if I left the club now. Impossible!

“There is no way I’m leaving. No way!”

Marcelo and teammate Mesut Oezil along with Barca’s David Villa have each been suspended for one match for their involvement in the brawl.

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.
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