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Vilanova holds no grudge over Mourinho

FC Barcelona's coach Tito Vilanova watches his players
Barca's Tito Vilanova holds no grudge with Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.
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New Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has denied there is any bad feeling towards Real Madrid opposite number Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho infamously poked the Spaniard in the eye during last season's Super Cup clash, when Vilanova was former Barca boss Pep Guardiola's assistant.

Mourinho was given a two-game ban and Vilanova one for slapping the Portuguese but the suspensions were lifted last week as part of an amnesty by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

"The fact that, after a year, we are still talking about what happened with Mourinho in the Super Cup - it tires me," Vilanova told www.as.com.

"Only the judge sets the sanctions and there is a measure of grace, I accept that. The punishment is not whether one or two games are given. The greatest punishment is that these images will last for many years.

"We are in the world of football and punishments must be accepted. He [Mourinho] greeted me in the game at the Bernabeu and I do not have any bad feelings."

But Vilanova is determined to gain an upper hand early in the season with a win over rivals Real in the Super Cup.

He said: "The Super Cup is clearly important. In Barcelona, there are no competitions that are not important.

"Of course it would be good to start by winning the Super Cup, it is always good to win."

Barca were runners-up to Real in the Primera Division, finishing second by a distance of nine points, and Vilanova knows he has a tough task ahead to improve performances.

"Being in the Barcelona first team, comfort is never comfortable," Vilanova said. "It is true that we are calm, but we also come to win many titles and be recognised by everyone.

"Making it better is very difficult. I am aware of the difficulty. I am aware that people are keen to continue to see the team play well and see the team keep winning."

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