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Real fans still in love with controversial Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho was given a rapturous reception by the Real Madrid faithful when his side entertained Galatasaray in a friendly on Wednesday.

It was a show of unity likely to leave club president Florentino Perez in no doubt that whatever reservations he might have over his stubbornly controversial coach the majority of Madrid supporters love him.

Mourinho may have shocked even the most loyal of Madrid fans when he calmly jabbed a finger in the eye of Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova during the mass confrontation between the sides at the end of last week’s Spanish Super Cup match.

Bizarrely, Mourinho denied any knowledge of the incident and the war of words was taken up by the local media along the battle lines already drawn up from last season’s increasingly acrimonious run of ‘clasicos’.

from Photographers' Blog:

Goodbye to hell

In the second half of the 2010-2011 Turkish football season Galatasaray moved to its new home ground in Istanbul, the Turk Telekom Arena, a 52,000-seat multi-purpose stadium replacing the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

The fate of the legendary Ali Sami Yen Stadium is now sealed.

Ali Sami Yen stadium in Istanbul 2010. REUTERS/Sevim Sen

The demolition of Ali Sami Yen, one of the most iconic venues in Turkish football and the home to one of the three oldest Istanbul football clubs Galatsaray for 47 years, started last week. For almost half a century, the yellow-and-red lions hosted their rivals in this temple with the slogan "welcome to hell". The stadium played host to victories against European giants FC Barcelona, A.Bilbao, AC Milan, Real Madrid, E.Frankfurt, and a historic victory against Neuchatel Xamax. Most notably it was the scene of Galatasaray’s triumphal UEFA Cup campaign in 2000.

Can Galatasaray’s “Great Captain” be a great coach?

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Galatasaray took a gamble in replacing German coach Michael Skibbe with former captain Bulent Korkmaz just three days before their UEFA Cup tie against Bordeaux.

But there was jubilation at the Ali Sami Yen stadium on Thursday after the team clinched a place in the last 16 with Sabri Sarioglu’s 90th minute decider sealing a thrilling 4-3 win.

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