This morning the self anointed ‘Special one’ has been reported as drawing attention to Barcelona’s potential gamesmanship ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi final second leg clash between Inter and the Catalan club.
This is basically akin to Amy Winehouse chastising someone else for overusing recreational drugs.
Last week Inter Milan jubilantly rode a tidal wave of officiating bias to a 3-1 lead. They kicked the best football player currently playing the game around the park like a hacky sack, and were guilty of diving like a U-Boat when a Barcelona player as much as breathed on them.
And yet now Murinho is bringing into question Barcelona’s potential gamesmanship?
This is of course quite clearly a return to the old days when José and Alex Ferguson would joust verbally through the media at one another, in an attempt to win the psychological aspect of the game ahead of it actually being played on the field. You would have to think Barcelona are made of sterner stuff than to be affected by this psycho-babble, however you do fear that the referee might be a different situation entirely.
To his eternal credit, the brilliant Pep Guardiola has not taken the bait. His succinct, diplomatic response tells you all you need to know about Barcelona’s focus tonight;
‘’ Inter doesn't matter, nor their great coach, nor their marvelous players – the only thing that matters is that we are ourselves’’
Naturally tonight is all about perspective. Some football fans will be hoping the ‘underdog’ Inter will manage to survive the onslaught that will come from Barcelona tonight and make the final. Other fans will have been incensed by the incredibly poor refereeing last week in Italy and will be hoping Barcelona can turn the tables on their Italian hosts. Then there’s those football fans that have watched Barcelona build this magnificent team over the last three years and hope that they can drag another football master class out. Personally I’ll settle for something along the lines of that Iniesta goal against Chelsea last season. Remember that?
That felt like Han Solo turning up in the Millennium Falcon so save the Rebel Alliance at the last second.
The alternative? A Bayern v Inter final? What would the over/under on ‘blatant dives’ in that be, 17.5? Doesn’t exactly whet the footballing appetite does it? Of course, you don’t always get what you want in the Champions League.
Selfishly speaking I hope Barcelona find something special to extend my own personal interest in this glorious competition just that little bit further.
Kinda looks like Messi, no? Kinda?