Football

Reporters walk out on mute Mourinho

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho's decision not to speak to the media ahead of Saturday's 'El Clasico' with Barcelona resulted in a walk-out by scores of journalists at the start of the pre-match press conference, which was held by assistant coach Aitor Karanka.

It was revealed earlier on Friday that Karanka, as has happened on occasions this season, would speak to the media in place of Mourinho prior to the table-topping clash between the two Spanish superpowers at the Bernabeu.

That did not go down well with the assembled journalists at Madrid's Valdebebas training ground and many took the decision to stage a walk-out as soon as Karanka arrived.

When Karanka did come out he was accompanied by Mourinho, but as soon as it was confirmed the Portuguese would not be answering any questions, it was estimated that more than 100 journalists and television crews from several different countries left the room.

Karanka then fielded questions from the journalists who stayed, but Mourinho remained silent.

Filippo Ricci, a journalist with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport who was among those who left, explained: "What happened was Mourinho decided not to come to the press conference, the usual press conference before the Clasico, and to send out Aitor Karanka.

"The press didn't like this decision and decided to quit the press centre as he was coming in.

"The surprise was that Mourinho also came into the press centre, but when the press officer said Mourinho wasn't getting any questions, at that moment around half to three-quarters of the press centre left."

Asked if Mourinho not speaking to the media could be seen as a lack of respect to the Madrid fans, Karanka said: "We have the opinion of the fans in the Bernabeu and on the street. What the fans want is that Real Madrid are where they are now.

"They don't want a team that is knocked out of the cup by a Segunda Division B side, nor a team who continually fall at the last 16 of the Champions League. They want a coach who works 100% every day and is able to make the team fight for every title."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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