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.