Roma manager Jose Mourinho was sent off last night after a furious outburst towards referee Daniele Chiffi, after he dismissed calls for a penalty during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Atalanta.
Footage showed Mourinho being held back by his backroom staff in reaction to the decision, with the manager convinced there had been a foul on Nicolo Zaniolo in the box.
Mourinho still hadn’t calmed down by full-time and as he claimed the referee told him a penalty wasn’t awarded because Zaniolo didn’t go to ground.
To prevent this happening again in future, the Portuguese revealed he’s now instructed his players to start throwing themselves to the ground or, in other words, to “be a clown”.
“There was a very clear penalty,” Mourinho said.
“I asked the referee afterwards why, and asked him to be clear with me and he said it was because Zaniolo did not go down.”
“So therefore, I have to change my advice to my players, I have to tell them don’t try to stay on your feet, don’t play the ball, be a clown the way many who dive like they’re in a swimming pool do in this league, because that is evidently how you get penalties.”
I’m sure the Celtic supporters who watched his Porto team against Celtic in the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville think those comments are very rich!
That Porto side put on the most outrageous display of diving and play acting that I and many others have ever seen and ruined what was otherwise an excellent final between two fantastic teams.
That Porto side went on to win the Champions League the very next season, which shows just how strong they were, and it was a shame they felt they needed to result to such disgraceful antics in order to defeat Celtic in the final.
Celtic manager Martin O’Neill was furious with Mourinho at the time, and still to this day I don’t think he has forgiven him for that night.