Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has revealed that Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo and his countryman Jose Mourinho almost fought in the locker room during a Copa del Rey match in Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid home ground.
According to the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, the genesis of the verbal war that almost resulted in a fistfight started when the opponent which Real Madrid was playing against had their throw-in. Modric revealed that Ronaldo didn’t run after the opposing team after the throw-in and that got Jose Mourinho, the manager of the club then, very furious.
Luka Modric noted that though they were leading the opposing team 2-0 in the first half of the match, Mourinho and Ronaldo continued to exchange unpleasant words until the end of the first half. Hence, when the referee ended the first half and they went into the locker room, Mourinho continued to single out Ronaldo and criticised him for not carrying out his responsibility on the field.
The argument continued in the locker room until they lost their tempers and about to head to a fistfight before other members of the team intervened and brought the situation under control.
“I was surprised by Mourinho’s reaction. We were winning 2-0 in the Copa del Rey,” Modric wrote. “Ronaldo did not chase the rivals on his throw-in and Jose was furious with Cristiano.
“The two fought for a long time on the field. After returning to the locker room at half-time, I saw Ronaldo desperate, on the verge of tears. He said, ‘I do my best and he continues to criticise me.’
“Mourinho came in and began to criticise the Portuguese for his responsibility during the game. They became so hot that only the intervention of the team-mates avoided a real fight between them.”
Though he didn’t reveal the team Real Madrid was playing against and the season the incident happened, our research in connection with the details he provided in his autobiography, the incident probably happened during the 2010-2011 season where Mourinho won his only Copa del Rey before he left Madrid in 2013. But the team, in particular, could not be ascertained.
Before Mourinho left the Spanish giants, he managed to win one La Liga, one Copa Del Rey and one Supercopa de Espana in less than three years. He is currently managing Tottenham Hotspur.
While Ronaldo who joined the club in 2009 for a then world-record transfer fee of £80 million scored about 450 goals in 438 appearances for Real Madrid before he left in 2018 to Juventus. Before he left, he had helped Madrid to win two La Liga title, two Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Espana, 4 UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Super Cup, and three FIFA Club World Cup.