“Madrid is playing this tournament because I organized it for them and I'm a professional,” said Jose Mourinho in a press conference yesterday evening after his Chelsea side defeated Inter Milan 2-0 at New York's Met Life stadium in the ICC semi-final match. Madrid fans are glad you entered us into this tournament but not while you were simultaneously negotiating your move out of the Bernabeau with your Abramovich chats. Nevermind the fact that Carlo Ancelloti (Real Madrid's new manager) has yet to lose a preseason match and is not the disruptive, cocky force that you once were while in Madrid. Personally, I'm neither a Mou hater nor a Mou lover. I'm rather ambivalent toward everything that does. Although tactically sound and albeit passionate about his role as manager, he's rather divisive. That's not to say he's not brilliant either. He's proven to be successful in many different European leagues (Portugal, England, Italy, and Spain) but rattles hoards of football followers everywhere with his aggressiveness, eye gouging, mind games, and lack of respect for people he doesn't like.
Wednesday night's ICC final featuring Real Madrid v. Chelsea in Miami at SunLife Stadium is only a friendly with nothing on the line. It's safe to say that both managers are more concerned with observing certain young players and getting their top players some scrimmage time worked in instead of showing off or disrespecting another team. But, keep in mind these are two massive clubs who always have political agendas. And as a huge Madridista myself, I can tell you that for Mourinho, it's still his chance to show Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, that maybe Perez should have supported him more during his three year tenure at Madrid.
Regardless of who wins the first inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see how “The Special One” interacts with many of his former players. Will he shake the hands of Casillas, Ramos, or Cristiano Ronaldo? Let's be clear here, if you are a football fan, you either love or hate Mou. I am one of the few fans who still can't decide what to think of him. Maybe he's playing a mind game on me?
After hearing the recent news that CR7 is about to sign a five hear extension, rumored to pay him close to 17 million euros per year with the “galacticos”, one could argue that Mou allowed Cristiano to shine when they worked together. I don't remember Cristiano ever involved in a serious debacle or argument with Mou, but I was never in the locker room. There was some news that came out a few days ago where Mourinho (always a wise chooser of words) decided to call Ronaldo (from Brazilian 1990s fame) the “real Ronaldo” and some saw this as a sign of disrespect to the current top player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo (his fellow Portuguese countryman).
“I don't spit where I eat” or I don't s*&! where I eat”, said Cristiano Ronaldo in a recent press conference regarding Jose Mourinho's comments about their time together. Ronaldo (the Portuguese one) said that he is used to people speaking poorly about him and doesn't let any of the talk affect him. Will these comments perhaps drive CR7 to put forth a little bit more effort when he faces his old boss on Wednesday for the ICC final? I'm expecting a few good blasts from Ronaldo to send a message to his old boss. Chelsea has looked solid throughout the tournament thus far but so have “Los Blancos”. I'm expecting a competitive final with a 3-2 win for the Spanish giants. I'm more anxious to see if Miami fans will come out to celebrate a nice preseason tournament that has drawn great crowds and attention in order to further their push to resurrect an MLS franchise in South Beach or be the “transplant” fans that Florida is notorious for and decide to go hang out on the beach instead or whatever it is they do there down for fun in the sunshine state. One thing for sure we can count in is that Jose Mourinho's presence will be highly watched. We can only only hope that Mou doesn't try to gouge Ancelloti's eye if the Blues lose.........