• Premier League

Mourinho: Ronaldo thinks he knows it all

ESPN staff
June 5, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Jose Mourinho has suggested his former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo no longer listens to tactical instructions as he thinks he has nothing left to learn.

The Portuguese pair previous enjoyed a close relationship but it has apparently fractured since Ronaldo reacted angrily to criticism from the bench during a Copa del Rey win over Valencia in January.

After that, Ronaldo refused to speak publicly in support of his boss or tie their fates together.

Spanish lipreaders claimed the player told his manager to "f*** himself" during Madrid's win over Malaga last month, and he did not then start any of the club's remaining three La Liga games.

Mourinho told Spanish TV show Punto Pelota that it was now difficult to coach the former Manchester United man as he reacts badly to any criticism.

"Cristiano Ronaldo maybe thinks that he knows everything and that the coach cannot improve him anymore," Mourinho said. "I had a very basic problem with him: criticise him from a tactical point of view, in that moment he did not accept it very well."

Ronaldo missed Madrid's final game of the season last weekend with Mourinho claiming the attacker - as well as team-mates Iker Casillas and Pepe - had been ruled out due to unspecified back complaints.

Pepe subsequently tweeted a photo of himself surfing just a few days later, Casillas told Spanish reporters that he had been ready to play, while A Bola and AS claimed Ronaldo now has no intention of signing a new contract at the Bernabeu as he was disappointed Madrid president Florentino Perez had not publicly denied the 'fake injury' claims.

The returning Chelsea manager nevertheless stuck to his version of events.

"Those two games in which he did not play, have been almost the only ones because he has given everything for Real Madrid," he said. "He felt a pain in his back. I do not doubt the injuries of the players."

Mourinho also claimed that Ronaldo's phenomenal goalscoring record for Madrid over the last three years had been facilitated by a tactical scheme which had been specifically designed [by Mourinho himself].

"He played three fantastic seasons with me, I do not know if the best of his career," the Special One said. "I think we discovered a fantastic tactical set-up so that he could express all his potential and express it in goals."

Meanwhile, Radio Marca has claimed that Mourinho plans to sell both Fernando Torres and Juan Mata as he shakes up the Chelsea squad for next season.

Torres however told reporters as he joined up with the Spain squad ahead of the upcoming Confederations Cup that he was not yet thinking about next season, but he was looking forward to working under the Blues' new "demanding" boss.

"There had been talk about this for a while and now it is confirmed," Torres said. "But first we have a very nice challenge in front of us, the Confederations Cup, which requires 100% [attention]. Once that is over we can think about starting the season well, with excitement, and knowing he is a very demanding coach."

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