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Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has reacted to the criticism from Portuguese defender Pepe by saying that it is just the frustration of losing his place to someone who is more than 20 years younger than him. Pepe recently lost his first-team spot to 19-year-old defender Rafael Varane. Despite being vastly experienced, Pepe has been consistently dropped in recent matches. The 31-year-old said in the post match interview after the 4-3 win over Real Valladolid during the weekend that nomination be paying respect to Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas. Casillas made his debut as an 18-year-old and he is one of the instantly recognisable Real Madrid players.
He comments a lot of respect in the dressing room, but Mourinho has indirectly criticised Casillas for the problems faced by the club this season. One of the major problems for Mourinho has been getting the team together, and he reckons that Casillas is responsible for the split in the dressing room. Mourinho criticised Casillas by saying that he would have brought Diego Lopez in his first season at the club and it was a mistake not to do so. Pepe reacted to this criticism by saying that Mourinho should pay some respect to the achievements of Casillas.
“It is easy to analyse the Pepe thing. His problem has a name, and it is Raphael Varane. Malaga are a dangerous team and if we don’t play to the best of our ability we will have a hard time. They’re a very good team and they play as a group. If we don’t take it seriously this is a game we could lose. It is not easy for a 30-year-old man with experience to be run over by a kid. I perfectly understand the frustration of Pepe, which has translated into the words that he has said,” said Mourinho.
Real Madrid’s Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has said that it is now almost impossible for this team to win the league title after falling 13 points behind leaders Barcelona with only few matches remaining in the season. A poor first half of the season saw Real Madrid suffer a number of defeats and unlikely draws, while an equally brilliant first half of the season from Barcelona meant that they have opened a huge advantage. Even though there are few games remaining in the season, Ronaldo reckons that the 13 point advantage will be difficult to catch.
Madrid won the title last season bringing an end to the three-year dominance enjoyed by Barcelona. This leaves Madrid with only the Copa del Rey and the Champions league titles to aim this season. Ronaldo has said that he certainly does not believe in miracles, and he has termed the prospect of Real Madrid catching Barcelona this season as a miracle. Real Madrid manager José Mourinho recently stated that one of the reasons for the poorly form of the club this season has been the lack of support from other players to Ronaldo’s efforts. Ronaldo has scored 29 goals this season, but other players have found it difficult to match this record.
“It may be possible but it is very difficult, almost impossible. I do not believe in miracles. Yes, you have to win to gain confidence for the Champions League and winning trophies always gives you confidence – this is the thought we must always hold on to. It’s not about me – what matters is Real Madrid and continuing to win. Scoring goals is important but my priority is to help the team and that’s my job. The team was playing well, I went on in the second half and tried to help with a goal and an assist,” said Ronaldo.
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