Amidst the confusion and internal and public reprimands at Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez’s intervention was crucial. With only 12 days left until the Spanish Cup final, the club’s president isn’t going to put up with any more in-fighting.
The players, particularly the captains want a truce that re-establishes social and sporting harmony at the club. Winning the only title they are still playing for is important, not only for the players’ self-esteem, but also so that the club’s hierarchy can confirm that they have enough quality in the squad not to warrant a wholesale clearout in the summer.
The mutiny inside the Real Madrid dressing room began on Friday. José Mourinho vented on the eve of the game against Valladolid, pointing a finger at Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, which was seen as both scornful and disrespectful to the club’s two talismen.
The game against Valladolid captured the anxiety, nervousness and tension that have built up inside the coach. Mourinho, who remained seated in the dugout throughout the game, did not speak to his players. Neither did he do so at the break. He delegated that to Karanka, whilst he left the dressing room prematurely for the second half. He appeared disillusioned, indifferent and aloof.