Mourinho denies ordering 'deliberate' red cards
Jose Mourinho denies he instructed Real Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to deliberately get themselves sent off in their Champions League tie with Ajax, though the Spanish media suggest otherwise.
Spanish sport publication Marca imply Mourinho used his substitute goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek to convey his orders to the two players in question to earn a second yellow card in order to serve their suspensions before the crucial knock-out stages of the Champions League.
Marca picture Mourinho talking with Dudek in the dug-out before the keeper is seen in discussion with Real's first-choice shotstopper Iker Casillas.
The whispers continue as the Real captain then appears to relay the message, thought to be that both Ramos and Alonso should take goal-kicks for Casillas and seek a second yellow card, to the two players in question.
The duo subsequently both received their second bookings for time wasting.
The aftermath of Real's 4-0 victory has seen accusations of gamesmanship directed at Mourinho – who has denied there being any former planning to his player's dismissals.
"There is no use talking about the cards we received in the final phase," the Portuguese manager said after the match. "It would give you a fine story but I only want to talk about this 4-0 win, which is a fantastic result.
"I don't think it was necessary to get those red cards because we were in control, the match was already dead and when it's three or four-nil there is no point in showing those cards."
Casillas' post-match comments however suggest there was some form of player instruction though he does not confirm they were for either player that saw red.
"There were things happening on the pitch and I was needed to give instructions to a player that were forwarded to me by Dudek. In the end it all turned out well," he said.
It is not the first time Mourinho has come under fire for transmitting messages to his players in a controversial manner.
Though serving a touchline ban for Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich in 2005, Mourinho's fitness coach Rui Faria was seen wearing a woolly hat and often scratching his ear, raising suspicions that he was wearing an ear piece with his manager feeding him instructions.
Further accusations of player interaction came in the second half, when Silvinho Louro, the goalkeeping coach repeatedly went to and from the dressing room, carrying pieces of paper – his arrival coinciding with a number of substitutions in the eventual 4-2 win.
But the best came when Mourinho was reported to have jumped in to a laundry basket so he could be sneaked out of the dressing room before the end of the game.