Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho believes club politics played a part in curtailing success in his final season at the Bernabeu, admitting "Madrid is not about football".
Madrid failed to win a major trophy last season, missing out on domestic and European honours as Barcelona sauntered away with the La Liga title, while German club Dortmund dumped the Spaniards out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
And cross-town rival Atletico Madrid were too strong in the final of the Copa del Rey, leaving Mourinho with only the Spanish Supercup as a marker of success for the season.
Now back at Chelsea, Mourinho said Madrid’s boardroom battle for power affected his club’s chances of adding silverware to the club’s bulging trophy cabinet.
“I know Madrid is a special club,” Mourinho told ESPN, “Madrid is not just a club. Madrid is politics. Madrid is not about football, Madrid is not about sport, is about many things around.
“In the second year, we won the championship, we were the best team in the Spanish history, we did 100 points, we scored 121 goals, and then the third year was the year of elections. Elections in that club mean a lot and we were in the middle of things that were not normal and only people that is inside can understand what it is.
“But the season was not so bad. We reached the cup final, of course we lost but we reached the cup final. We reached the UCL semifinals, one goal, one goal difference for not to play the final so the season was not so bad but finish without trophies, only with the Super Cup – we beat Barcelona in the Super Cup – and that’s not enough for me.”