Guardiola loses his cool in response to Mourinho
MADRID (AP) -- 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 9expletive) 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.
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