Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho failed to turn up for Monday's Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich not only because he did not think he was going to win the award for Best Coach, but also due a strained relationship with his players.
According to sources close to Real Madrid, the coach did not feel motivated to attend a ceremony in which “he didn’t believe that either he nor his players would win a prize” but also because he wasn't relishing the chance of sharing a trip with players such as Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, with whom he has clashed recently.
"It’s one thing to be in a flight full of other people, but he felt the atmosphere wouldn't be right with just him and the players," stated the source.
The rest of the Real Madrid players were in Zurich for the Gala event Monday night with Cristiano Ronaldo in with a chance of winning a second Ballon d’Or after the one he claimed in 2008.
Mourinho cited Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash against Celta Vigo as his motive for staying behind in Madrid. Real lost the first leg 2-1 of the sides' last-16 tie in December and must win the return at the Santiago Bernabeu to avoid further disappointment in an already average campaign.
Madrid are 16 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and Mourinho came under fire again on Sunday for leaving captain Casillas on the bench for the second match in a row. He also clashed with Ramos earlier on in the season and has publicly criticised the club on occasions this term.