Guardiola loses his cool in response to Mourinho

Jose Mourinho’s off-field tactics appear to be taking a toll on

Pep Guardiola as the normally composed Barcelona coach snapped

Tuesday, launching a tirade of expletives against his Real Madrid

counterpart ahead of their Champions League semifinal.

Mourinho, speaking earlier Tuesday, had accused Guardiola of

going too far in criticizing the nationality of a possible referee

for Wednesday’s first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Mourinho said Guardiola’s allegation that referee Pedro Proenca

would play out well for the fellow Portuguese coach meant ”we now

enter a new phase of criticizing the origin of a referee. I’ve

never seen this before.”

While German referee Wolfgang Stark was finally appointed for

Wednesday’s game, Guardiola did not take kindly to Mourinho’s

remarks, including allegations that calls often seem to go

Barcelona’s way since a semifinals victory at Chelsea in 2009 when

a late penalty was not given.

”He’s the (expletive) boss, the (expletive) master and I can’t

compete with him at any instant,” Guardiola said at the Bernabeu.

”Off the field he’s already beaten me. I gift him this off-field

Champions League prize, I hope he takes it home and enjoys it.

”I’d just remind him that that we worked together for four

years.”

Guardiola was a player when Mourinho worked as an assistant with

the Catalan club in the late 1990s.

Any love has been lost since last year’s semifinal when

Mourinho’s Inter Milan knocked Barcelona out at this same stage

with the Portuguese coach hitting out at Barcelona’s obsession of

winning the Champions League at the Bernabeu.

Mourinho has also been keen to point out that his teams – which

play a physical, bruising style against Barcelona – often finish

with 10 men against the Catalans, including the last four games

stretching back to his time with Inter.

Guardiola said his remarks about a Barcelona goal that was

waived away offside in Madrid’s 1-0 Copa del Rey extra-time victory

over Barcelona last week were not intended as criticism but solely

to complement the referee’s work.

The pressure of four ”clasicos” in 18 days may also be taking

their tall, especially as Mourinho’s Madrid finally beat a

Guardiola-coached Barcelona team in its seventh attempt.

Guardiola was so animated that at one point when asked about

Mourinho in English, the coach reverted to Spanish because he was

so flustered.

Guardiola said he had to respond after Mourinho made it personal

earlier Tuesday by calling him ”Pep.”

”I respond to him because it’s the first time he says Pep – we

normally talk in general terms and it’s the first time he says Pep

so I say Jose. I have to respond,” Guardiola said. ”Today is the

first time (I respond). If he says Pep, I will continue and I will

say ‘Hey Jose.”’

Guardiola was aware that his outburst was far from

conventional.

”(But) if Barca wants someone to compete (in news conferences)

then they should hire another coach. As a person and an institution

we don’t do that,” Guardiola added.