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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Madrid fans postpone pro-Mourinho march

Real Madrid fans' groups have postponed a march in support of coach Jose Mourinho which had been set to take place before the home game against Levante on April 6.

Madridista Tonin el Torero began to organise the event earlier this week, intending that up to 10,000 of the club's hardcore fans would march down the Castellana boulevard to the Bernabeu in an attempt to persuade Mourinho not to leave at the end of the season.

The Portuguese coach has not always been a popular figure inside the ground, challenging supporters to whistle him before December's derby against Atletico Madrid, but the club's Ultras Sur have always stood steadfastly behind him.

Posters for the proposed march, which had not received official permission, carried the slogan: "The fans are with you - don't give up, Jose."

El Torero told AS the event had the backing of many of Madrid's penas - supporters' groups - but the club had asked them to shelve it for now.

"I received some calls from the club telling me that Mou was happy, that he appreciated the initiative, but that he thought it could distract the team," Tonin said.

"They asked me, for the good of the team, to leave it for later. They asked me to put a brake on the euphoria. It could be that it was Mourinho who did not want to alter the good mood among the squad, or thought someone might use it against him."

He said the march was "an initiative from the heart and from our feelings. We want Mou to stay with us".

El Torero stressed that he was not taking sides with Mourinho against those players with whom he has reportedly had issues, such as Iker Casillas or Sergio Ramos.

He said he did not agree with the AS journalist's suggestion that Mourinho's "flirting" with other clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea or Inter Milan was a show of disloyalty to Madrid, adding: "It is all the same to me. These are just interpretations. He is a football man.

"The idea is for Mourinho to know that, as well having the support of part of the stadium, he also has the street with him. This is not a war, this is just Madridismo."

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