Mid-Day Ticker: Pique, Xavi call out Mourinho; Ronaldinho recalled and more

PiqueXavi (Getty Images)

Barcelona stars Gerard Pique and Xavi aren't hiding their feelings when it comes to Real Madrid and its coach Jose Mourinho.

In the aftermath of Wednesday's SuperCopa second leg, Mourinho took a lot of heat from Barcelona players for his tactics and actions during a melee following a harsh challenge by Madrid fullback Marcelo. Mourinho himself got involved by going after Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova's face.

"Mourinho is destroying Spanish football," Pique said according to the Associated Press.

Added Xavi: "Real Madrid should be concerned about the image it is giving, it's very damaging. Marcelo's tackle has no place in football. Totally shameless, a real shame for football in general this image generated by Real Madrid."

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

RONALDINHO RECALLED BY BRAZIL

As it turns out, Ronaldinhno's international career isn't through after all.

The former World Player of the Year was called into Brazil's national team by coach Mano Menezes for a friendly against Ghana on Sept. 5 in London.

Ronaldinho, who has resurrected his club career with a strong showing at Flamengo, last played for Brazil last Novemeber, but he was excluded from the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa America squads.

CHELSEA LOSES CECH

Chelsea will be without starting goalkeeper Peter Cech for up to a month after he suffered a knee ligament injury in training.

The Blues will turn to either Ross Turnbull or Hilario to stem the tide while Cech recovers. They face West Brom in their home opener this weekend.

ETO'O MOVE HITS SNAG

Talks between Inter Milan and Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala over a transfer for Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o have hit a snag.

It appeared the clubs were set for Eto'o to make the unusual yet lucrative move, but reports suggest that it might not be such a certainty any more, although talks between the two clubs will continue. Anzhi reportedly offered a €25 million transfer fee to Inter on top of a three-year deal with €15 million per season to Eto'o.

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What do you think of the comments on Mourinho? Is he good or bad for the Spanish game? Happy to see Ronaldinho back with Brazil? How do you see Chelsea faring without Cech? Can you see Eto'o playing in Russia?

Share your thoughts below.

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55 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Pique, Xavi call out Mourinho; Ronaldinho recalled and more

  1. John says:

    Added Xavi: “Real Madrid should be concerned about the image it is giving, it’s very damaging. Marcelo’s tackle has no place in football.”

    I get sick of these two teams when they play each other. They’re all hypocritical. Where it says Real Madrid you can put Barcelona and where it says tackle you can put diving, or intimidating the ref. Where it says Marcelo, you can put any player from either team.

  2. A says:

    He is terrible for not only the Spanish game but for world football in general.

    That man has been suspended multiple times in every single league he has ever coached in. The chief of officiating for UEFA called him the “enemy of football,” and rightfully so.

    The man is so deranged that he ruined the life of an official, forced him to prematurely retire and relocate his family to an undisclosed location for safety reasons.

    He assaulted an opposing coach last night. Let me repeat that. He intentionally snuck up on and gouged the eye of an opposing coach during a brawl that was started by his own players who he instructs to play maliciously.

  3. Lee says:

    While I am also sick of the tactics and complaining from both teams, there is a huge difference between diving / yelling at the ref and a dangerous, unnecessary tackle with extremely clear intent to injure. That said there is no place for any of it in the game.

  4. A says:

    No, you really cannot.

    Embellishing is something that every team, in every league, in world football does.

    Assaulting opposing coaches, having your players intentionally injure other players, publicly accusing other teams and leagues of cheating (he’s done this at every major team he has coached at), acting like a petulant child, and drafting conspiracy theories without any evidence or truth that severely damage world football is not anything like what Barcelona does.

  5. Brett says:

    That’s pretty despicable.

  6. A says:

    Yes, Sir.

  7. BCC says:

    Sports are about entertainment, not upholding moral values. I am always amused when players, coaches, members of the media begin talking about who is right, who is wrong, and how this person and that person are “bad for soccer.” Soccer, at all levels, is absurdly corrupt. And who doesn’t enjoy watching absurdity?

    The Camp Nou is not a cathedral and players and coaches are not role models. They kick a ball, they kick each other, and sometimes they get upset. Why does this have to carry or communicate some deeper ethical message?

    My advice — quit complaining and going on and on about who is in the right and who is not. Watch and enjoy the football. Or don’t. I am tired of all the moralizing — we’re talking about grown men playing a children’s game.

  8. A says:

    Ethical message?

    Calling someone out for inciting violence, promoting wild conspiracy theories and ruining people’s lives, not to mention physically attacking other people is an ethical issue?

    Wow, you missed the ball completely.

  9. Adam M. says:

    So Marcelo and Dani Alves both got called up for Brazil’s next set of friendlies. Oh to be a Portuguese-speaking fly on the wall when those two are around each other. As for Ronaldinho, he’s been great for Flamengo in a slightly different forward role. He’s also exactly what Brazil’s (lack of) offense has been missing with Ganso’s struggles.

  10. pancholama says:

    Agree with you 100%.
    Mourinho proved last night that he is quite genuine, a genuine horses a**.

    Real Madrid is walking on the Dark Side, and he is the number one reason why.

    Pep Guardiola has more class in his left foot, than Mourinho has in his entire, soul-less body.

    Basta!

  11. adrian says:

    Are you a functioning member of society?

    Humans create social constructs to embody importance. By your logic, money is just any old piece of paper and the president is just a man… and the Eiffel tower is just a building.

    We assign importance and value based on our constructs. To a footballer or fan, the Camp Nou is a cathedral of modern football history and the spirit of the game is the embodiment of hundreds of years of history and sportsmanship, a true respect for the beautiful game.

  12. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Look you are right in a few things, But this type of thing had never really happen before since Mourinho became Coach. Capello, Ramos, Pelegini & Schuster never never had his player get so frustrated and loose their head like Real Madrid does. Mourinho has put on this player head that should play real physical in order to stop Barcelona but he had few players are becoming his hit men. (Kadirah, Pepe, Marcelo, Ramos & even Carvahlo) Look Barcelona aren’t saint either but is total different (Puyol, Macherano, Busquet & Alves) play hard and physical but they don’t try to break someone else leg.But you are right is getting out hand with this two team acting how they do.

  13. RK says:

    Jose Moe-rinho? Nyuck nyuck.

  14. Fred Garvin says:

    Barça Madrid is turning in to a coke fest.. Enjoyable at first but such a letdown after the events

  15. 20 says:

    Fulham are looking at signing Bryan Ruiz

  16. A says:

    Mmm love me some social philosophy. But in all seriousness you are correct.

    By BCC’s thinking, another human being is just a functioning system of carbon-based organic material. Your mother/father/brother/sister is just another bag of flesh.

  17. A says:

    I saw a good one yesterday, Jose More-Niño.

  18. bryan says:

    Barca players cleared their bench and started the brawl. Pinto was the main culprit. Marcelo’s tackle was absolute crap, but just like his tackle has no place in football, neither does Barca clearing their bench everytime there is a bad foul.

  19. A says:

    Alright let’s try to draw out this scenario.

    Your team just scored what appears to be the game winning goal with only minutes remaining.

    You are half way through stoppage time, and your good friend who you grew up with in the academy just made his debut for the team.

    With the clock running out, a thug from the other team (your most-hated rival) who had already intentionally kicked your star player in the waist-area, goes in for a career-ending tackle and it takes place directly in front of your bench. And it is clear that he meant to severely injure him.

    I would have beat him senseless.

  20. T says:

    Barca F**ked the “kittens” real nice and will continue to do so during the season, this Barca team has played together for 5 years they have more chemistry and cohesiveness than the Madristas (“kittens”), and will be unchallenged until Madrid starts playing with some “Real” class rather than “thuggery” >:-|

  21. Royce says:

    Remember when David Beckham used that same tackle against DC United at RFK stadium a few months ago? No card, no foul.

    Yes, Marcelo’s tackle as dangerous, but he isn’t the only player in the game who has attempted to get away with the scissor kick. He didn’t, he promptly received a red card. The game should have proceeded from that point.

    Marcelo made a bad decision and got punished. The Barca bench elevated the situation by rushing the field.

  22. Colin says:

    I agree with this %100. The replies are predictable. People put sports on a pedestal, but in the end, it’s just a freaking diversion.

    Sure sports might play some part in a child’s social development by teaching her how to be part of a team, but they’re far from the only avenue to adequate social acclimatisation.

    The whole “mes que un club” and “football cathedral” attitude surrounding Barcelona is symptomatic of a game that has been elevated to a level of importance in everyday life that’s pretty laughable. Don’t get me wrong, I love soccer, I watch, I play, I buy every new FIFA game. However, I think it’s ludicrous for adults to sanctify soccer players. These are men who get paid to kick a ball. The ability to play a 40 yard outside of the foot no look pass to a streaking teammate does not make you a moral or ethical role model. It makes you an entertainer. Entertain me, don’t preach to me.

    Personally, I see all of this as part of the show. The media wins by promoting this behavior because it makes them money. The FIFA governing body may act like it wants harmony, but discord often draws more attention and money. The more seriously people take something -even something as stupid and trivial as kicking a ball around- the more willingly they will part with their money they earned at their real jobs.

  23. Kevin_Amold says:

    Was there any diving in last night’s game? I’m serious, was there? I didn’t see the game, but I think the one game last year where they had some embarassing simulation against RM has gotten REALLY overblown. On the contrary, you have an average of about 1 red card a match for Madrid players for terrible tackles or violent conduct.

    But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion.

  24. BCC says:

    Well said.

    Asaid, what you fail to see is that by treating the game as if it is something more than entertainment, you fuel the problem. Hooligans, coaches, and players who “incite violence” have lost sight of the fact that it is nothing more than a game. The fervor of fans such as yourself, people who uphold it as if it is something holy, glorious, and beautiful, is what eventually leads to the violence.

    If you think this is a Mourinho problem then you have a myopia so severe there is no way anyone can help you. A league and a country that continuously place people under an ungodly amount of pressure is going to see its share of violence. Mourinho is a small component of a much bigger issue.

    You’re probably a Barca fan with a longstanding grudge. Have a beer (if you’re old enough) and relax — life’s too short.

  25. John says:

    the game was actually pretty calm until towards the end. just to make it clear i’m not favoring one team or the other here, they both can get pretty disgraceful. marcelo is and always will be a punk and a hack, but barcelona aren’t the saints they portray themselves to be. go youtube vidoes where they con the refs.

  26. marco says:

    The best thing that could happen to football would be for Marcelo, Pepe, and Jose to sit out a month. The officials on the field can disrupt Jose’s tactics. Just by applying the rules they can make Jose a liability for Real. They don’t need him.

  27. jlm says:

    sport should teach us lessons about how to compete, how to work together to accomplish goals, how to lose with dignity, how to win graciously, how to always look forward to the next challenge, how to be mentally tough, etc.

    it is much more than a game and Barca is MORE THAN A CLUB — just kidding, that was really cheesy

  28. Nick says:

    I love how you try and take the moral high road and act like some social philosopher, yet here you clearly show your true colors. Hypocrite. Get off Pep’s lap and open your eyes, Lil Cesc

  29. Raisa says:

    Why is Xavi and Pique only blaming Real Madrid for the bad football from yesterday??? Barcelona also takes part of the blame and shame. To tell u the truth it was the Barcelona bench that came off and started the brawl. Isn’t that very suspicious?!?!?

    Usually when a player gets a red card, they get into a fight. Marcelo got a red card and than just left instead of fighting.

    And what is up with Pinto. Every time, something bad happens, he always gets himself involved as if he wants publicity and attention. Like Seriously, he is in the bench and barely gets called up and ends up being the headline. He should of gotten a red card for punching Ozil when he was trying stop the brawl.

    Surprised to see what Villa did. I was once a Villa fan but now I’m no longer that anymore. Bad Sportmanship by Villa slapping Ozil when he could of just told him to get off of the Fabregas.

    Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are a disgrace to football and this game is no one near listed as a Beautiful Game. I don’t even think that either teams deserved to win or to be called as “One of the Best Clubs in the World in the History of Football” cause neither teams can show it. FIFA needs to do something about this cause this rivalry has gone too far! Shame and embarrassment are the only words to describe these too teams. Shame on Real Madrid and Shame on Barcelona by showing bad football!!! And thats coming from a Real Madrid fan. But than again this wouldn’t of had happened if it weren’t for the foul caused by Marcelo. Still Barcelona should of just shut their yaps up and let the ref do the job. Think before, you do it!!!

  30. Eurosnob says:

    Royce, you are right, Marcelo is not the first player to dish out a vicious scissor-tackle and receive a red card. When I saw Marcelo’s tackle I was reminded of Goikoitxea’s tackle that broke Maradon’s ankle and almost ended Maradona’s career. Cesc is lucky that his leg was not broken. And by the way, getting a red card with 30 seconds to go in the game does not seem like an adequate punishment for this kind of behavior. I hope the league will take into account Marcelo’s overall performance, including his kicking of Messi with his cleats. Marcelo should be suspended for at least 20 games for his actions.

  31. bryan says:

    exactly! and yes, i do, i was at the game! haha

  32. Adam M. says:

    Anyone remember Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, when Pedro threw Don Zimmer to the ground and threatened to bean Posada? What Marcello did was no different than a pitcher throwing directly at the head of the batter who followed a big home run, except Fabregas had less ability to get out of the way and more chance of being injured. The Barca would react is hardly surprising, particularly as it happened right in front of their bench. So let’s not get overworked about this. Emotions flare in contact sports, and some suspensions and fines are warranted. But any more dramatic pronouncements about either sides’ effect on the game (apart from their otherwise absurdly good play) is misguided. Should they all go out for tea and krumpets?

  33. jones says:

    yeah, I’m sick of watching them play each other. Bunch of drama queens, the whole lot of them. I don’t doubt many are good people, but these games just bring out the worst in both teams.

  34. UrBigProfMan says:

    a Brazil league national squad (neymar, ganso, ronaldinho) is just as strong a Europe-based Brazil league, maybe stronger

  35. Louis says:

    I am not in any way condoning the behaviour of Real Madrid or Mourinho but Barcelona are disgraceful in their own right. Many of their players dive all over the pitch and intimidate the referee. I am sick of being told that Barcelona plays football the right way, produces all of it’s own talent, etc. Are they the best team in the world? It is very likely. But they are guilty of quite a bit of gamesmanship and feigning injury to get the other teams players sent off. It is a shame really since it adds nothing to their performance and teams can’t get the ball of them anyway. I will admit that I can’t recall seeing Xavi or Messi or Puyol or Pique diving or cheating but Pedro, Busquets, Alves, Iniesta, Villa, etc. are a disgrace. That being said, Mourinho needs to be severely punished for eye gouging another coach. Sorry for rambling and I don’t support either team.

  36. John says:

    agree with you 100%

  37. marco says:

    I think Madrid should step in before some serious injuries occur and fire Jose. His persistent fouling tactics could fail on their own with officials applying the rules, but why wait for a serious injury. Do the right thing Madrid.

  38. OC says:

    I would agree, had the last 2 matches not been the best Clasicos in years.

  39. OC says:

    I thought this Home/Away series was one of the cleanest in the past few years, save for that last scuffle. Besides the last 5 minutes, EXTREMELY entertaining football. 9 goals in 2 matches?? Let’s go.

    Dinho is the reason I started watching futbol and I couldn’t be happier that he is back on the squad. He still has so much left in the tank. I’d love to see Breazil ball out against Ghana and him be a big part of it. Whether youlove or hate them, I think Brazil’s characteristic style of football has been sorely missed for years now, and it would do the game real well if they started to play like the Brazil of before.

  40. Vic says:

    Although Mourinho is no Angel, Xavi should look at the behavior of Barcelona before commenting about anyone ruining Spanish football. Barcelona set an new low in all of world football with their pursuit of Farbregas. There must have been at least 30 if not more comments from Barcelona players that Fabregas should come to Barcelona. Every other team pays fair market value and doesnt send their players to the media to whine.

  41. OC says:

    If the media asks you about something 100 times, maybe one time you’ll answer.

    Just saying, though it has been a bit ridiculous, Barca players probably don’t do it entirely on purpose. You know the media can twist ANYTHING.

  42. Jeff O says:

    Real Madrid took the game to Barcelona with a really aggressive and physical style. If Madrid had taken advantage of their many opportunities we would be praising the genius of Mourinho’s tactics. Now, we only focus on the faults? Mourinho should be punished for his actions during the skirmish, but to say that he encouraged Marcelo’s scissor slide tackle is a pretty big stretch of imagination.

    While I don’t excuse Marcelo’s tackle, I can understand his frustration. Some Barcelona players have become Kobe Bryant-esque; they need only to shout and raise a hand and they get the foul.

  43. Northzax says:

    Grudge matches are great. When they happen once or twice a year. Duke-Carolina is fun twice a year. Ohio State-Michigan once a year. Etc, etc. But like seven, eight times a year? It gets boring. So the drama has to be tamped up somehow.

  44. Lonecoyote says:

    I thought the ref was rather poor, he should have given out some cards to both teams earlier. Clearly he let the game get out of control. As far as diving I didn’t see that much by either team.
    What is perfectly clear is that Real was getting more frustrated (due to their own ability not to get another goal) and I expected that Madrid would do something nasty before the end of the game.
    The blame for the fight lies clearly with Marcello, no dirty play, no fight.
    Any team would back up their player after receiving such a vicious foul.
    Seen fights break out for less.
    Madrid would do better with a new coach, Mourinho has no class and neither does the team. When a team plays as aggressive as Real, what is Barcelona supposed do due, play nice guy.
    Anyone who doesn’t understand why Fabregas wanted to go back to Barcelona has to be a moron.
    It’s not essentially about money or titles, but about going back home to Catalonia. Fabregas is Catalan and his identification with his culture is primary.
    Just ask someone from Catalonia or Barcelona.
    Many of the anti Barca complainers are just frustrated to see Madrid handed the balls in a doggie bag time after time.
    The fight was disgraceful by both teams, but if the coach of one team promotes
    aggressiveness and cheap shots as a style of play, it isn’t a surprise about the outcome of such play.

  45. Kevin_Amold says:

    Will you please point to examples of diving by Barcelona? Other than the one clasico last year, in which Alves and Busquets participated in dreadful simulation. I completely agree.

  46. Good Jeremy says:

    I think we’re more concerned with the physical assault than his coaching style.

  47. Steve says:

    One of the classics last year when Ronaldo was fouled from behind and fell down light touching mascherano who went down like his Achilles had been snapped and filleted. Perfect example.

  48. Dave says:

    Your right about the media asking a hundred times but I do not remember the media asking the Barcelona players to put a Barcelona shirt on fabregas at the world cup?

  49. The Internet Troll says:

    I’m very happy Mourinho is at Real Madrid. All this controversy just increases the hype, and the games will be heated. People are still talking about it, and it was just a pre-season friendly. The games were fantastic as well. Can’t wait until the regular season matchups.

  50. The Internet Troll says:

    I’m very happy Mourinho is at Real Madrid. All this controversy just increases the hype, and the games will be heated. People are still talking about it, and it was just a pre-season friendly. The games were fantastic as well. Can’t wait until the regular season matchups.

  51. Young Bert says:

    In the Champions League 2 seasons back. Busquets faked an entire slap to the face by motta. he rolled on the ground and then looked up from his “injury” to see motta get a red card. Pathetic.

  52. GBH says:

    When people point out Barça’s diving, they always go back to Busquets vs Inter.

    When you talk about Pepe being a rough player, you don’t always go back to the time when he kicked that Getafe player on the back. You can count multiple incidents where tries to break people in half.

    Marcelo, not so much but he got two memorable moments on Wednesday.

    Villa didn’t slap Ozil. Valdes did.

    link to youtube.com

    And here is the whole fight with some close-ups…

    link to youtube.com

  53. guest says:

    Completely agree with you, and for those of you saying the way Barca act about fouls is what every team does is wrong. What other team cleared their benches for a foul? What other team flocks all 10 players around the ref after every foul? What other team fakes injuries after a foul to get the player a card? None that I can think of. Were Real more physical than need be? Yes, but then leave it to the referee to judge if they over step their boundaries, and don’t try to influence him. Play the game, not the refs. If the ref decides it’s not worthy of a card, it’s not, and as a player, it’s shameful and pathetic to try to sway his decision.
    And while Mourinho was classless, what was so wrong about Marcelo’s tackle that everyone is bashing him now? He’s getting more hate than Martin Taylor and Ryan Shawcross, and his tackle was no where near as bad. Yes, it was deserving of at least the second yellow, I didn’t get a good angle on the tackle(TV), so I can’t comment on whether the red was deserved or not. And Messi getting ‘kicked’? Karma. Remember Friedrich? How he got away with that is mind boggling. Besides, watching the replays, it was only a graze, no where near the full stomp by Messi. It’s amazing how Messi gets away with infinitely more than anyone else in the world; from here on out, I’d like to suggest changing the name of the Jordan Rule to the Messi Rule. I honestly hope that no one is blind enough to contest that Messi gets away with things. Such as time wasting.

  54. guest says:

    I agree with you. But saying that FIFA needs to do something is funny- remember France Ireland for the ‘last WC spot’? that Ireland had already clinched? Yeah. Corrupt. Not going to fix anything. I say that a completely new organization should be built from scratch, with no single person in power. UEFA is obviously corrupt- No way anyone can say that Barca have not been favored by UEFA for the past 3 years running. Handball against Chelsea? Red card vs/ Arsenal? Higuain disallowed goal? And those are only the 3 biggest ones. Either that, or there needs to be a new, revamped referee system implemented. Allow the use of replay for fouls where cards are shown, and pk’s. We have the technology and financial resources to weed out these bad decisions, but for some reason they are against it. Saying it will no longer be football. But what is football? Is is a game where the players allowed to cheat? Or is it a game that players should abide by the rules, and play fairly? It’s grown worse since Messi has become very popular, the Jordan rule is dwarfed by the Messi Rule now. It’s even worse than the Rooney Rule in England, because with Messi, it is international. I honestly do not like Messi, he is a tremendous player with no passion for the game, only winning. He cares little for how he wins, just that he wins, an attitude that has been adopted by Barca as a whole. It is somewhat different from Real’s win at all costs mentality, as Real will use any footballing tactic possible to win, whereas Barca will use any tactic possible to win. If you can’t tell the difference between the two, it means that barca will not hesitate to use the ref to win, whereas Real will not hesitate to foul you to win. Thing is, fouls are part of the game, have been since it started, but playing the ref is something that is new and should be punished. It’s appalling to see Barca players putting their hands on the ref, spitting into his face, and not getting anything for it. The rules clearly state that if you go out of your way and touch the ref, it’s an automatic yellow card. Any sort of threatening or intimidating gesture, which the ref has the right to decide, is an automatic red. It’s, to use Xavi’s words, ‘pathetic’. I have never seen a team as bad as this Barca in terms of playing the ref, they are a master of every aspect in the game- positive and negative.

  55. guest says:

    Yeah, that’s exactly what Barca players do in their free time- f**k their kittens, because that’s the only thing small enough to feel on their tiny d***s. That’s thuggery, isn’t it? Underage bes****ity?