• Premier League

Mourinho loses Spanish libel case

ESPN staff
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Jose Mourinho's final year at Real Madrid was beset with off-pitch problems © Getty Images
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Jose Mourinho has lost a legal case taken against Marca journalist Roberto Palomar - who wrote in an article that Mourinho was like a "typical hit-and-run driver".

The article was published on September 17, 2012 at a time when Mourinho's Real Madrid side was not playing well amid Cristiano Ronaldo's claims of 'sadness' and the worsening of relations between Mourinho and players including Iker Casillas. It argued that the Portuguese coach did not take responsibility for his own mistakes, and he was the type of person who would cause a mess and not stick around to fix it.

Mourinho was not impressed and ordered his lawyers to sue for retraction, while also seeking €15,000 in damages which he would donate to the youth team in Madrid for which his son played at the time.

On Wednesday, judge Sagrario Arroyo Garcia rejected that plea, ruling that "the freedom of information and expression of the accused must prevail, so the legal action has been rejected."

Palomar's article was an early skirmish in the long-running battle between Mourinho and the local press in the Spanish capital, at the beginning of what would prove to be the Portuguese coach's final season at the Bernabeu.

Further events included Marca claiming on its cover that Madrid's senior players had issued an 'either Mourinho goes or we go' ultimatum to Blancos president Florentino Perez, which lead to Perez calling a press conference to defend his manager and label the story as "lies".

There was also an unsavoury event when a Marca radio reporter was called into a room adjacent to the Bernabeu press area, and told he was a s**t journalist.

By the end of the season Mourinho rarely spoke to the Spanish media, letting his then assistant Aitor Karanka take most press conferences. On arriving back at Chelsea in June he declared himself now "the Happy One" as he was back where he was appreciated - however, by late September he had walked out of a press conference upset at questioning from British journalists.

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