On the eve of Jose Mourinho's latest meeting with former goalkeeper and current mortal enemy Iker Casillas, details have emerged of a phone call that reportedly destroyed the relationship between player and manager.
Spanish daily Marca claim Casillas called his international teammate Xavi after the rowdy Spanish Super Cup Clasico of 2011 during which Mou famously poked Tito Vilanova in the eye. Pete Jenson of MailOnline translates the story:
Casillas had called after yet another Clasico had descended into an ugly brawl. He was angry when the conversation started but his tone changed as Xavi, one of his oldest friends in football, told him that both sides needed to think about the way they were behaving.
The conversation ended in reconciliation. Mourinho was furious.
Mourinho's relationship with Casillas was bristly before this incident, as it is alleged the Portuguese coach pointed the finger at the much-loved 'keeper for leaking team news to his reporter girlfriend Sara Carbonero prior to Los Blancos' humiliating 5-0 Clasico loss in 2010.
'Iker deserves a lot of credit' said Xavi in a recent Marca interview. 'He called me and [Carles] Puyol. I told him that both sides had to look at themselves. He was looking out for the interests of Spanish football.'
For Mourinho it was treachery. He had decided that the only way to beat Barcelona was to make war with them; Casillas had effectively raised the white flag.
Mourinho and Casillas' relationship deteriorated to the extent that the goalkeeper was regularly dropped in favour of Diego Lopez.
Suffice to say, there will be no love lost when Casillas sees his former manager on the sidelines when Chelsea head to the Estadio Do Dragao on Tuesday evening.