Jose Mourinho and Sergio Ramos.
Real Madrid’s clash with Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night should be an intriguing one for multiple reasons.
United, for example, are in the Champions League this season and playing Los Blancos will test whether their new-look squad is ready for the challenge ahead.
The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is also interesting, given their pair have both been linked with moves to Old Trafford this summer.
Indeed, Jose Mourinho admitted in a press conference on Monday that if Bale doesn’t feature in the Super Cup, he will make a move to sign the Wales international.
Asked about pursing Bale, Mourinho said: “Well if he’s playing tomorrow, no I wouldn’t think of that.
“It’s because he’s in the coach’s plans and the club’s plans, because he also has that motivation to continue at Real Madrid. So I haven’t even thought about the possibility.
“If he is not in the club’s plans, that with the arrival of another player would mean he was on his way out, I will try to be waiting for him on the other side and fight with other coaches that would want him on their team.
“But if he plays tomorrow, that is the best confirmation that he is wanted by the team.”
Another sub-plot is how Real’s players will react when they see Mourinho, who managed the club for three years from 2010-2013 but left rather unceremoniously.
Mourinho made a few enemies at the Bernabeu, such as Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, with the latter savaging his former manager ahead of the Super Cup.
As relayed by the Independent’s Miguel Delaney, Ramos was asked by reporters if Mourinho helped his career by moving him to centre-back, to which he gave a brutal response.
“No, he’s just another coach I worked with,” was the Spain international’s reply.
Ramos asked did Mourinho change his career for the better, by moving him to CB: “No, he’s just another coach I worked with.”
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) August 7, 2017
Ouch. Ramos is widely regarded as one of the world’s centre-backs at the moment and that may not have happened had Mourinho not moved him from right-back.
But Ramos wasn’t having any of it, simply branding Mourinho as “just another coach”.
How the pair greet each other when they meet remains to be seen, but you can guarantee Mourinho won’t be too happy about Ramos’ comments.