Andres Iniesta on Mourinho: The former Barcelona midfielder has blamed Jose Mourinho for tensions in Spain’s national team.
Andres Iniesta left Barcelona at the beginning of this season after 16 years at the Catalan club. During his time at Barca, Iniesta won numerous domestic, continental, inter-continental and individual honours.
Iniesta also won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, where he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands. Two years later, he won the Euro with the national side as well.
However, things have never been the same with the Spanish team since. The midfielder, in an interview with La Sexta, has claimed that Mourinho played a major role in the breakout of relationships inside Spain’s squad.
Jose Mourinho was the manager of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.
Andres Iniesta on Mourinho:
The El Clasico games between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Jose Mourinho’s time at the Los Blancos were, perhaps the more heated than ever seen before.
Mourinho’s rivalry with Pep Guardiola often boiled things up on the field between both the sides, and things turned ugly when Mourinho once poked Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye in 2011.
Iniesta: "When Mourinho was [Real Madrid's] coach, that was the point when the Clasico rivalry was at its peak. Anyone who doesn't think that his presence was a key component in that is going beyond radicalism."
— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) November 24, 2018
Andres Iniesta stated that the tensions between the players during the El Clasico reflected during the international duties, which had a disastrous impact on Spain’s squad.
“You don’t have to be for Barcelona or Real Madrid to know that the situation was unpleasant,” Iniesta said. “And the key component in that story was Mourinho. Whoever doesn’t want to see that, is radical.”
Andres Iniesta: “You don't have to be for Barcelona or Real Madrid to know that the situation was unpleasant And the key component in that story was Mourinho.”
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) November 26, 2018
Iniesta stated that the rivalry turned to hate with the arrival of the Portuguese manager.
“You didn’t see the rivalry that always existed before, it went beyond that, you saw hate. That atmosphere developed and it was unbearable. The Barca-Madrid tension caused by Mourinho did much damage to the national team (Spain) and the teammates,” Iniesta said.
Iniesta: “Mourinho was the key component in the bad blood between Barça and R. Madrid in that era. Lines were crossed. This caused a lot of harm in the national team. It was surreal. You didn’t see rivalry, you saw hatred. The environment was cultivated and unbearable.” [lasexta] pic.twitter.com/rRpG0KX0G7
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) November 25, 2018
Jose Mourinho left Real Madrid in 2013 to join his former club Chelsea.
📺 [salvadostv] | Iniesta on salvados tv show:
🔊 Iniesta: “When Barça beat Madrid 5-1 I didn’t regret playing in Japan because I knew that I was not going to give my 100% for the team.. I wish I could have played my whole life at Barça.” pic.twitter.com/d1q82rUluE
— BarcaTimes (@BarcaTimes) November 25, 2018
Spain, however, is yet to win a tournament since Euro 2012. The side was knocked out in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and crashed out in the round-of-16 of the Euro Championships to Italy two years later.