Jose Mourinho was so convinced that there was a player in his old Real Madrid side passing on team information to the press that he lost his temper and asked one of the men if he was a rat, according to information in Jerzy Dudek’s new book.
As relayed by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, Dudek has revealed that Mourinho’s problems during the latter period of his time as Real boss all stemmed from when he confronted the squad about one of them supposedly leaking critical information to external sources.
Dudek claims that it was Esteban Granero who felt the direct brunt of Mourinho’s fury, though the breakdown of relationship between The Special One and Iker Casillas has since led many to believe Mourinho thought it was his goalkeeper.
The damning excerpt from Dudek's book reads: "Where is the rat? Is it you, Granero?, Jose said, pointing to Esteban. He insisted several times that there was a 'rat' in the locker room and would not stop until he found it.
"Then he shut the door and left. That episode, just before playing the final of the Copa del Rey, was the source of all the conflicts that occurred later."
Real and The Special One
Whilst initially tipped to give Real the impetus to once again conquer Europe and secure their much-coveted La Decima - a feat they only achieved last summer under Carlo Ancelotti - Mourinho’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu was marred by rumours of constant arguments and trouble brewing behind the scenes.
In the end it was inevitable that his spell in the Spanish capital would end before he was able to establish a proper dynasty like he had at Chelsea during his first spell in England, though whether or not that was because Real already housed too many egos is a question long deliberated but rarely properly answered.
The Bernabeu effect?
In truth it does seem strange that Mourinho, who so often shares a very healthy relationship with his players, could estrange so many of Real’s senior first-teamers, and the thought of one of Chelsea’s key men passing on confidential information that might hinder the team moving forward isn’t one many fans would be ready to entertain as even feasible.
Of course Mourinho himself is no angel and would have certainly found an argument in the Real dressing room if there was one to be found.
That said what is a manager’s job if not to be in total command of the players underneath them? Perhaps Los Blancos would have enjoyed more success during his tenure had they figuratively bent the knee.
It’s needless to say that Mourinho seems better off for the parting of the ways now anyhow. Real clinched the Champions League last season but endured a cataclysmic breakdown in form in the second-half of this campaign - one that cost Ancelotti his job - and whereas they still boast a glittering array of world stars they’ve rarely look a cohesive unit.
Chelsea fans, can you ever imagine Mourinho being forced to call out one of his Stamford Bridge players for being a rat? Why is he so much better off with the Blues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.