There may be trouble at the Bernabeu.
According to reports, on Sunday the PA announcer failed to mention Jose Mourinho's name in the pre-match announcements, yet Espanyol coach Javier Aguirre's name was read aloud. Is it an honest mistake, or a symbol of fan rebellion?
In November, Reuters mentioned the sounds of disgruntled fans were heard as Mourinho was whistled by the Real Madrid fans who were disappointed with the club's position in La Liga, despite their 3-0 win that day to move to the final 16 of the King's Cup.
Famed rally driver and Real Madrid supporter Carlos Sainz recently told Madrid-based MARCA he wouldn't be bothered if Mourinho left the club.
"Of course I can imagine a Madrid without Mourinho because that is a possibility", he told MARCA in early December. "Madrid is a historic club that has outlasted and will outlast any manager"
Has "The Special One" lost that special quality, and is he just "any manager" now?
At the press conference after Sunday's 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu with Espanyol, Mourinho told reporters Real Madrid's title hopes were bleak at best. "It is practically impossible… That's too much (of a gap) at this stage."
Currently Real Madrid are 13 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, a far reach for the title—but not an impossible one heading into the second half of the season. According to a Reuters report, Mourinho stated, "I have never seen a situation like this before, losing so many points, and having a team so far from its objectives." Those are not words of a man happy with his situation, and not reflecting the attitude of a man who quickly told reporters recently that he signed a contract in May to stay at Madrid until 2016.
Should Mourinho leave Real Madrid?
So what's eating "The Special One?"
In a recent interview he admitted his life wasn't very easy: "I hate my social life," Mourinho told CNN's Pedro Pinto in an interview taped in September of 2012.
"I hate not to be a normal father who goes with his son to the son's football match and being there with the other 20 fathers they're watching the game. I'm at a football match of kids and I have to be there. The people have to come for photos; the people have to come for autographs; the people have to come to insult me; the people have to go behind the goal of my kid and insult my kid of 12."
What will be the next step for Jose Mourinho? In September, the Real Madrid manager told CNN that he already had his own idea:
"I just say openly that for many reasons that after Real Madrid, Inter, Italy, Spain, Chelsea, England, Porto, Portugal, that after this project, the next step will be England for many reasons but when, I don't know."
Why England? He may still have unfinished business with the Premier League, where he was dismissed after his term at Chelsea, leaving a group of players who reportedly still stay in touch with their old gaffer.
Is there anywhere else but Chelsea in England for a man like Mourinho?