Real Madrid: Jose Mourinho's Complicated Relationship with the Castilla
When Real Madrid's 19-year-old Brazilian right-back Fabinho, on loan from Rio Ave, played in Ángel di María for Los Blancos' sixth goal vs. Málaga, both António Silva Campos and José Mourinho felt a sense of vindication.
Campos, Rio's president, was convinced that Fabinho would break into Real's first team despite the youngster being behind Jean Sony and Zé Gomes at the club Mourinho made his professional footballing debut for.
Rio Ave's president: Even if Fabinho plays with Castilla, Mourinho will be betting on him. [A Bola]— SB (@Realmadridplace) July 20, 2012
Fabinho's debut reinforced Spanish football expert Gary Linton's comments when the self-titled "Only One" handed Casemiro a shock start against Real Betis: "It's about José Mourinho and the Castilla."
His infamous "me, me, me" rant when a journalist questioned his handling of Álvaro Morata gave you a glimpse of how much Mourinho resents the idea that he ignores the Castilla (via Sid Lowe at The Guardian):
I was the one that brought Morata into the first team squad. Who called him up for pre-season with the first team, three times? Me.
Who stopped him leaving? Me. Who gave him a first-team contract? Me.
Who arranges all that? Me.
Yet, he made an ultimatum to Real Madrid B manager Alberto Toril (via ESPN FC's Miguel Delaney): "The kids are the ones who end up paying the price."
Who flippantly remarked that "20, 30, 40 or 50" Castilla players had limited careers? Mourinho.
He hasn't helped himself by feuding with Toril, who refuses to take orders from Mourinho (per Marca): "Toril attended first-team training to watch a group of Castilla players. Mou spotted him and told him he couldn't be there, leaving Karanka to go over to Toril and inform him that he would have to leave."
Mourinho shouldn't be outraged at the misconception of him being anti-cantera when he's the one who has given the press ammunition to disparage him again.
Jesé, the Segunda División's current top scorer and one of Julen Lopetegui's best players during Spain's Euro U-19 triumph, said that he would leave the club because of Mourinho (per Marca via Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC).
Evidently, performance isn't the reason for Jesé's plight under Mourinho—it's personal.
1. Whether it was Adrian Mutu or Mario Balotelli, Mourinho has never responded kindly to threats.
2. It's one thing giving full-back Nacho, who Mourinho objected to playing at centre-back under Toril, an extended run. It's another to make the ultimate concession to Toril by playing Jesé.
Jesé isn't Mourinho's biggest Castilla mistake—far from it.
Coupled with Álvaro Arbeloa's Bacary Sagna-like deterioration and Dani Carvajal's elite displays for Bayer Leverkusen, why didn't Mourinho have the guts to pick Carvajal?
It was his glowing review of the Castilla right-back that convinced Leverkusen to buy him (Real will most likely activate his buy-back clause).
It's mistakes like that and the way he shattered Davide Santon's confidence that do Mourinho a disservice when it comes to his reputation with up-and-coming prospects.
Pepe, who shares the same agent with Mourinho, made way for the inexperienced Raphaël Varane and the Frenchman has shown world-class upside.
Next season's UEFA Champions League final will mark the 10-year anniversary of Mourinho making the riskiest choice of his career.
Starting 19-year-old Carlos Alberto over Porto's Bola de Prata recipient, Benni McCarthy, in the 2004 Champions League final vs. Monaco.
Alberto justified Mourinho's blind faith with the Dragões' first goal en route to a 3-0 win over Monaco.
The Portuguese manager may never emulate his mentor Louis van Gaal's track record with youth, but, contrary to popular opinion, Mourinho does care about young players (via FourFourTwo.com):
If you want to talk about injuries, let's talk about Scott Sinclair.
He is a kid playing his first full game for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and in a couple of days he will have surgery on his metatarsal.
That is a sad thing.
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