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Mourinho resolve stiffened

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has spoken for the first time since his attack on Barcelona in the wake of their 2-0 defeat in the Champions League.

• Van Walle: In defence of Mourinho
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• Champions League Gallery Photo Gallery

Mourinho chose not to add to his tirade about the influence that Barcelona supposedly have over UEFA and match officials, and instead confirmed that the situation stiffened his own resolve to stay in Madrid.

''To remain at Real Madrid makes more sense than ever before. Now I have more willingness to continue in charge of Real Madrid for what this means,'' he told a news conference ahead of the club's La Liga match at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday. ''This (Madrid) jersey is white, and white now has more significance. I am in very good shape. My health is perfect and I am working as always."

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against him for his post-match press conference, and Mourinho did not stoke the fires further, instead referring to the thousands of published images of Pepe's challenge on Daniel Alves that resulted in his sending-off, which show minimal contact was made.

"I don't want to speak about the issue for a simple reason: a picture is worth more than words," he said. "I have nothing else to say. I have said what I wanted.

"Whoever criticises my words, criticises the pictures, and must think the photos are photoshopped and the videos are altered - I have absolutely nothing else left to say.''

Meanwhile, former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claims that the club have handed too much power to Mourinho and that the image of Spanish football has been hurt by recent events.

"It is not like Real Madrid but the president has granted the power to Mourinho. Mourinho is the owner of the club," Calderon told Europa Press. "Even the CEO cannot get into his [Mourinho's] office because he keeps it locked. It is impossible for this to end well. It's unthinkable these things [would] happen in my time as president, in which everything was a matter of storm and scandal.

"Fans are paying the consequences. The club has given them a coach who knew what [the club] was about and now we are paying the consequences. The sad thing is that the consequences are not being paid by them, but the fans pay.

"Madrid is a big club that has never complained about the referees, the conference seemed shameful. With respect to not only the match, which can be understood in a tense moment, it seems inappropriate to speak of Unicef and the referees."

UEFA has hit Madrid and Barcelona with disciplinary action after his comments, but Calderon said that the clubs should have thought twice before airing their grievances in the courts.

"The whole subject of lawsuits between Real Madrid and Barcelona is a mistake. We have the best football in the world and this hurts our image," he concluded.


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