Yesterday I was in the Sporting de Gijón social club watching their away game at Real Madrid on the big screen. On the final whistle 100 or so Sporting fans lept off their stools in celebration at not only Sporting´s first victory in the Bernabéu for 60 years but to toast a priceless three points towards extending their stay in La Liga. However, it left Real Madrid the unenviable task of trying to close an 8 point gap on Barcelona.
I applauded politely while beer was swished over me and old men were shouting incomprehensible ululations in and around my ear, the camera panned to Jose Mourinho doing his best Jack Dee impression… and then, only then, I realised that his NINE YEAR unbeaten home record had ended.
Mourinho last tasted defeat at home back in February 2002 when Porto lost 2-3 to Beira Mar.
During the game a friend asked me ‘was Mourinho like this in England?’; clearly referring to the exasperated look on Jose’s face during the second half. ‘In what sense?’ I asked. ‘Stupid!’ was the surprising response. Harsh and unfair, a nine year unbeaten home record, the ability to communicate in four different languages (can Fabio Capello speak English yet? Really?) and the ability to get under the skin of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, stupid was not the word to describe Mourinho.
Barcelona compounded Real’s misery later that evening, extending their lead to 8 points courtesy of a 1-0 victory at Villarreal. The winner was scored by Gerard Pique, the commentator allowed a ‘waka waka’ to slip out as Pique ran to the corner flag celebrating, thus making it the most predictable piece of football commentary in the history of well, football commentary.
On finishing up this article, I cleared my desktop of some photos that I thought may have been useful. Windows prompted me with the message ‘are you sure you want to delete Jose Mourinho?’… you know, I wasn’t sure… he’s going to stay there for a while longer, out of respect at least. Not for 9 years though.