Soccer Break Thursday – Mourinho wins. Again.
Jose Mourinho and winning appear to go hand in hand after the colourful Portuguese coach delivered at the first time of asking in Wednesday’s King’s Cup final.
All the more significant was beating Barcelona for the first time as Real coach, which sets up a fascinating double header in the Champions League semi-finals on April 27 and May 3.
The pictures of Real’s celebrations are everywhere but what was not captured was defender Sergio Ramos dropping the trophy off the open-top bus during their victory parade. Or maybe not.
Real fans will be hoping their team do not let slip their slight pyschological advantage ahead of the Champions League having kept Barcelona dangerman Lionel Messi largely quiet during the final. The pacy Argentine stood still for five minutes after the final whistle, inconsolable.
The likely opponent for either Real or Barca in the Champions League final is Manchester United, whose form has dipped recently but all the same Alex Ferguson’s men seem destined to win another league title after Arsenal faltered against Tottenham Hotspur in another classic North London encounter. Chelsea are trying their hardest to make it interesting mind you.
Finally, our thoughts are with Gerard Houllier after the Aston Villa manager was taken to hospital. The stresses of football management cannot be underestimated, if that turns out to be a possible cause.
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Picture: Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho is thrown into the air by players after winning the King’s Cup final soccer match against Barcelona at Mestalla stadium in Valencia April 20, 2011. REUTERS/RFEF/Pool