Real united ahead of El Clasico: Ramos
MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos gestures during a quarter finals, first leg, Copa del Rey match against FC Barcelona. AP photoReal Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, who is at the center of a reported bust-up between players and coach Jose Mourinho, has denied there is now a rift in the dressing room ahead of the El Clasico tonight at the Nou Camp which will decide who will go through to the semifinals of the King’s Cup.
Despite Real’s blistering form in the league that has seen the club score a record 67 goals at the halfway stage of the season and has helped earn it a five-point lead over reigning champion Barcelona, all is not well at the club and that is partly because it has been out-classed by its bitter rival in the two meetings so far.
Mourinho is now in his second season at the Bernabeu and has still not found a way to beat Barcelona - with the one exception the Cup final last year.
He has reverted to defensive and ruthless tactics in a desperate bid which have not only failed but also are not good for the image of the club.
It was reported on Sunday by Spanish sports daily Marca that there was an argument after the 2-1 first leg defeat in the cup by Barça last Wednesday and this reignited on Friday during a training session. The players apparently hit back at criticisms from Mourinho that they were not backing him in the press with Sergio Ramos a protagonist.
Real bounced back from their negative performance against Barcelona with a devastating second half display at home to Athletic Bilbao and ran out 4-1 victors.
But whistles could still be heard for the first time for Mourinho from the crowd.