Here at The Mambo, we don’t really get the concept of suing. Like country music and the senseless high school massacre, it seems a hideously American disease and one resting on the puzzling premise that a seemingly arbitrary sum of money can quell the pain of negligence or malice. Still, it has become common practise for those in the public eye, particularly those enthralled to excessive ego, to exercise litigation against anyone exhibiting the audacity to question their often eminently questionable antics. As such, it is as unsurprising as it is exasperating to hear that José Mourinho, the beautiful game’s unwanted answer to David Icke, is filing legal action against Marca editor Roberto Palomar for the perceived crime of merely publishing his opinion.
Notably, Marca, a Spanish sports daily, has a tradition of shameless pro-Real Madrid bias so for Palomar to denounce the club’s coach as ‘the type of person who leaves after causing a car crash’ is indicative of the scrutiny facing Mourinho. Trailing bitter rivals (a rivalry whose bitterness has straddled stratospherically poisonous heights under Mourinho’s toxic provocation) by 8 points after only 4 rounds of fixtures, the Portuguese’s future has been brought into doubt, with disappointing results focusing his uneasy relationship with sections of the press and tellingly, the dressing room. Predictably, the puerile Mourinho has sought scapegoats under such a climate and his reaction to Palomar’s remarks is merely the crescendo to a week in which Mesut Ozil has been banished to train with the youth team and Sergio Ramos dropped from a Champions’ League tie whilst very open criticisms have been cast against the squad.
Essentially, Madrid’s maladies are the fault of anyone but Mourinho. Sadly, only the blustering Mourinho seems sold on such sentiment so in the futile search to silence dissent, Mourinho’s representative is to take Palomar to task for language deemed ‘humiliating’ and ‘completely unnecessary.’ Given that contempt for free speech and refusal to acknowledge opposition it is little wonder that El País’ Charles Bouvier anointed Mourinho a ‘Nazi Portuguese’ last year. Of course, Bouvier was sued.
Quite aside from the fact that as Mourinho’s pathological passion for power has seen his president, Florentino Pérez, sink deeper into his Faustian pact and cede almost complete control of club affairs to his manager, consequently leaving little blame for any failings to apportioned to anyone else, his complaints are caked in abhorrent hypocrisy. This is the man who infamously labeled the infinitely more dignified, principled Arséne Wenger a ‘voyeur;’ the man whose classless vitriol saw Swedish referee Anders Frisk hounded into retirement; the man who surmised Sir Alex Ferguson’s complaints to an official as ‘whistle and whistle…cheat and cheat;’ the man fined by UEFA for procuring deliberate bookings for his players; the man happy to dismiss his striker with the withering ‘if I can’t hunt with a dog, i’ll hunt with a cat;’ the man at the centre of the ‘tapping-up’ scandal during Ashley Cole’s acrimonious move from Arsenal to Chelsea and the man who dismissed an opponent’s negative tactics as ‘parking the bus’ before his ultra-defensive, joyless Internazionale would later enact the philosophy’s flagship performance in Barcelona.
Evidently, Mourinho is no stranger to hypocrisy. Instead, it appears to have governed vast swathes of his professional life to a similar extent as baseless paranoia, bizarre conspiracy theories and astonishing arrogance. His demand for £15,000 compensation from Marca is merely the latest manifestation of the latter, a sum 25 times more than the £600 he was charged for last year’s repulsive, cowardly eye-gouging of the now Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova. The implication flagrantly being that bruising the prodigious self-worth of a charmless narcissist is a 25 times more heinous offence than acts of gratuitous physical harm.
Obviously, such a conclusion is grotesquely absurd but it is perhaps only the latest indication of Mourinho’s disordered desire to be loved, as he was by an often gauchely sycophantic British press during his time at Chelsea. Subsequent spells in Italy and especially Spain have not found such captive audiences, with reports of his egomaniacal jealousy towards Madrid’s World Cup winners testament to a frustration with those immune to the Cult of José. Although backed by his club, Mourinho would surely be better served channeling his grievances into arresting his side’s slump to 12th place in La Liga rather than filing frivolous lawsuits against columnists who are guilty, in all likelihood, only of employing a slightly unflattering metaphor to describe his habit of deserting clubs just as they begin to unravel.