La Liga Clash of the Giants: Real Madrid v Barca Tickets

Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid Manager

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola challenged Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho in an attack of words between the rival coaches ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

Earlier in the day, Mourinho launched a stinging attack on Guardiola regarding comments the Barca coach was supposed to have made about refereeing decisions.

“Up until now we’ve had two groups of coaches,” said the Portuguese. “There’s a very small group who didn’t talk about referees. Then there’s a larger group, of which I’m included, of coaches that criticises referees when they make big mistakes.

“And with Pep’s statements we’ve come to a third group, which is a one person group, who criticises good decisions made by the referee. I’ve never seen this before.”

Guardiola responded with an angry response saying, “Wednesday at 8.45 we will meet each other on the pitch. Off the pitch he has already won.

“In this room, he’s the f****** chief, the f****** man, the person who knows everything about the world and I don’t want to compete with him at all.

“It’s a type of game I’m not going to play because I don’t know how.

“I won’t justify my words. I congratulated Madrid for the cup that they won deservedly on the pitch and against a team that I represent and of which I feel very proud.”

“Off the pitch, he has already won, as he has done all year.

“On the pitch, we’ll see what happens.”

“If you think that his allegation that I always complain about the referees is true after you’ve all heard form me over the last three years, well there’s nothing I can do. Off the pitch there’s nothing we can do to fight that.”

“Do you think the players will run more because I’ve spoken to Jose through the cameras? It’s the Champions League semi-finals. The players won’t be motivated by this, they know what I think about everything associated with this game.”

Midfielder Andres Iniesta was ruled out with a calf injury.Iniesta joins Eric Abidal, Maxwell, Adriano and Bojan Krkic on the sidelines.

When asked if Iniesta would be fit for next week’s second leg, Guardiola said: “We hope that he will be recovered. As for who will play in his place, I don’t know. I don’t have many players to pick from but someone will step in and we’ll see what we can do.”I feel confident about the players we have. We are coming here proud to defend our style of play, with 12 home-grown players and set to face a team in the semi-finals who have nine European Cups and seven great forwards.”

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