Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek has revealed how far Jose Mourinho is willing to go to ensure he wins, by taking about a true incident that happened back in 2010.
Dudek played under the Special One at Real Madrid during the 2010-11 season – his final season at the topmost level of professional football.
During his stint under the Portuguese, the Polish goalkeeper was largely impressed by Mourinho’s tactics and his sheer desire to win under any circumstances.
He gave evidence of Jose’s will to win anyhow, by talking about an incident that occurred in 2010, during Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League match against Ajax.
“During a Champions League group game against Ajax in Amsterdam I was asked by Chendo, a former Real player who became an executive, to sit next to Mourinho on the bench during the second half,” he said.
“We were 2-0 up, through to the next round and still had one game to play.
“Mourinho told me that if Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, who had been booked, got themselves sent off they would miss the final meaningless group game against Auxerre and have no suspensions hanging over them going into the knockout phase.
“He asked me to run down to Iker and pass on the instruction of what they needed to do. I nodded and jogged down the touchline with a bottle of water to pass to Casillas. ‘Iker, the boss said tell Xabi and Sergio to get another booking so they miss the next game.’
“I jogged back to the bench and noticed that Iker was whispering in Sergio’s ear. He then ran over to Xabi.
“In the 87th minute, with the score at 4-0, Xabi was given a second yellow card for time wasting. Sergio was also given a second booking for time wasting in stoppage time.”
However, the incident did not go unnoticed by the UEFA officials, and they fined all the guilty parties involved.
“UEFA asked me for an explanation as to why I’d run down to the goal to see Casillas,” Dudek added.
“I told them: ‘He wasn’t feeling well so Mourinho had instructed me to see how he was feeling and if he should save a substitution to bring him off. Iker told me he was fine so I returned to the bench.’
“The UEFA disciplinary committee didn’t believe me. I was fined €5,000, Iker was fined €10,000 and Xabi and Sergio both received €20,000 fines. Mourinho was fined €40,000 and given a two-match ban, although this was reduced on appeal, and the club received a €120,000 fine.
“I started joking in the dressing room: ‘I won’t pay it for sure! It was the masseur’s fault that he didn’t give a bottle of water to Iker. And it’s your fault too doc, as you didn’t check whether he felt well. I am not going to do your jobs for you!’
“More importantly though, Xabi and Sergio were free to play in the knock-out stage and carried no yellow cards over.
“Mourinho’s tactics had worked and, to be honest, I really admired him for that plan.”
However, the former Liverpool man will be hoping Mourinho isn’t at his best this Monday, when Manchester United take on the Anfield Giants in a high intensity Premier League clash.