He’s brash and he’s back: Real Madrid and manager Jose Mourinho – seen here giving the officials a tongue-lashing during the UEFA Champions Leaguer semifinal first leg against Barcelona last month – are returning to Southern California this summer (AP Photo).
You were wondering just who the Galaxy would announce for their usual high-profile international friendly now, weren’t you?
It doesn’t get much higher profile than Real Madrid, the big-mouthed Jos Mourinho, – just fined and suspended by UEFA today for his conspiracy comments after the UEFA Champions League semifinal loss to Barcelona earlier this week – Cristiano Ronaldo, et al.
Ticket details and prices have yet to be released for the 7 p.m. game, which is part of the World Football Challenge series of games.
Other teams involved in the series include Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution.
Here’s more from the just-released Galaxy press release:
A nine-time European champion and 31-time champion of Spain’s La Liga, Real Madrid recently won the Copa del Rey and currently sit in second place in La Liga while also advancing to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
Now in his first season as the club’s head coach, Jose Mourinho has a wealth of talent at his disposal including Portuguese internationals Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe, German internationals Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, as well as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Raul Albiol and Alvaro Arbeloa, all of whom were members of Spain’s winning team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The Galaxy first played Real Madrid on July 18, 2005 at The Home Depot Center, losing 2-0 behind goals from Michael Owen and Roberto Soldado in front of a capacity crowd.
The two sides met again last year in front of more than 89,000 fans on August 7 at the Rose Bowl. The Galaxy led that game 2-0 at halftime on goals from Todd Dunivant and Landon Donovan, only for Real to score three unanswered goals in the second half, two from Gonzalo Higuain and one from Xabi Alonso, to claim a 3-2 win.
This game is also expected to see Galaxy midfielder David Beckham face his former team for the first time since joining the Galaxy in 2007.
Incidentally, here’s more on the disciplinary action UEFA took against Mourinho today:
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was banned for five Champions League games Friday after accusing European soccer’s governing body of conspiring to help Barcelona.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel ruled Mourinho made an “inappropriate” comment in a post-match interview. Mourinho also was sent from the dugout for comments to game officials during the first leg of the semifinals last week.
After Madrid’s 2-0 loss, Mourinho said UEFA and referees actively tried to help Barcelona reach the Champions League final in each of the last three seasons.
He served one match of the ban when Madrid was eliminated Tuesday at Barcelona, a 1-1 draw. Another one-game ban was suspended provided there are no further infractions for three years.
That means Mourinho can’t communicate with players and coaches at Madrid’s first three group matches next season. UEFA also fined Mourinho $73,000.
Madrid said it would appeal to UEFA, contending the ruling body failed to clarify its
“Our coach does not have the full right to defend himself since the declarations which merited the opening of the case, and for which he has been sanctioned, are unknown,” Madrid said in a statement.
UEFA rules allow Mourinho to pursue an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport because his ban is for at least three matches.
In his post-game news conference, a combative Mourinho listed the referees who he said gave Barcelona favorable decisions in UEFA matches.
“Every semifinal the same thing always happens. Why? I’ll live my whole life with this
question but I hope one day to get the answer,” Mourinho said.
Mourinho described it as a “scandal” that Chelsea, his former club, was denied penalty appeals against Barcelona in 2009.
It was a “miracle” that Mourinho’s 10-man Inter Milan team eliminated Barcelona in the
semifinals last year, the Portuguese coach said.