Tense pre-Champions League press conference this afternoon just 24 hours before REAL MADRID & FC BARECLONA play the 1ºst leg semi final in the "Santiago Bernabeu Stadium". That Real Madrid Coach Mourinho makes comments & sly insinuations is not a surprise, its part of his psychological warfare to rattle the oppostion. What is news, is that Barça Coach Josep Guardiola explodes in response in a fashion that has caught everyone here off-guard & leads to suspect that in fact "Camp Barça" is rattled.

I for one believe it is a smart counter move by Guardiola to seem to be the "victim", the underdog & to call up "historically" political ( Spain - Catalonia) issues to motive his players & not the rest. Although the political issues are out of hand & Football is not a place for theses trivial issues.

What is evident that this semi-final Champions League phase will be tough, competitive, of the maximum level & very, very serious stuff elevating things into the personal level. To a certain point things - the rivalry - has got out of hand & I hope we do not see collateral damage. 

Spanish Football

Coach Mourinho was first today with press conference duties & went straight for the "jugular vain":"Con las declaraciones de Pep, entramos en una nueva era, en un nuevo grupo en el que sólo está él: criticar el acierto del árbitro. Nunca lo había visto"...translated..."With the declarations of Pep, we enter a new era, a new group with only himself: criticize an accurate referee decision. The never seen before". 

A reference to Guardiola´s comment on the disallowed off-side goal by Pedro in the Spanish Cup Final.

Spanish Football

The Guardiola press conference was a direct head-on attack to Mourinho, Real Madrid, Spanish "Madrid" Media & Spain. This was certainly unseen & has caught the attention of everyone.

"Mañana nos enfrentamos en el campo a las 20:45; fuera del campo ya me ha ganado"
Tommorrow we´ll meet on the ground at 20.45; outside he has already won.

"En esta sala él es el puto jefe, el puto amo..."
In this room (Real Madrid press room) he is the freaking boss, the f**king owner..."

 "Dentro del campo intento aprender mucho cuando juego contra él o cuando le veo por la televisión. Fuera del campo intento aprender poco".Inside the field I learn a lot when we play against each other or when I watch on TV. Outside of the field I try not to learn at all.

If this was aggressive, Guardiola added:
1. Barça will go out to attack
2. Real Madrid is an extraordinary & superb Football Team full of cracks
3. If you meet Real Madrid defensively, they will destroy you
4. Andres Iniesta is 100% not available for the Real Madrid match...

He later returned to an attacking mood & posture:
1. The grass is too high & perhaps UEFA should look at this...

2. Perhaps Real Madrid will end up with 10 men , but that will be there doing...

There was more vicious & venomous pearl comments, but Guardiola ended with a Catalonia "nationalist" quote from Catalan poet Lluis Llach: "hemos caído muchas veces como país y como equipo y luego nos levantamos. Este es un pequeño país que desde mi campanar se ve el campanar de otro pueblo"...we have fallen many a time as a Nation (Catalonia) & as a team we will lift ourselves. This is a small Nation that from my towers view I see the higher tower of another Nation (roughly translated, respecting the poetry of the master Llach)

Admirable from Guardiola , uplifting for his players & his Club, super motivation for his fans...but out off place in Football & a authentic mud fight not of a gentlemans level as of Guardiola level. Jose Mourinho does escape criticism, very harsh, very aggressive & including unsportsmanlike, but this should not surprise us.

Many the better team win, may the match be clean & sportsmanship flow.

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