|Jose Callejon at press conference|
Real Madrid reserve player commented on the Mourinho’s gesture at the end of the latest clasico of applauding all of the players as they headed for the dressing rooms: “It was significant because it was a very good game and we saw a lot of football. The world’s press agreed that it was a superb game between two great teams. We made a great effort because they went ahead first. The semi-final is still wide open and we did our level best to make sure that it would be”. On the subject of relations between the team and the manager, he was very frank: “There will always be controversies; there are those who will try to destabilize the team and say that we are not committed to him. I believe he is the best manager for this club and we have always demonstrated that we are behind him one hundred per cent”.
He had this to say about the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona: “We have seen an improvement compared to previous matches. It isn’t easy to play against Barcelona, but we will give it our best shot in the return leg. 1-1 is a good result, from our point of view. The semi-final is still wide open and we are confident going into the game at the Camp Nou”.
As for Adan and the Diego Lopez signing: “Antonio is working hard and it is a big challenge to play in goal for Real Madrid. He has shown that he has what it takes to play for the club and if he carries on like this for sure everything will come to him. With Diego in goal we have nothing to worry about because he’s got experience in the League and at the European level as well. Like Adan and Iker, he keeps his cool and the team can sense that”.
Callejon was also full of praise for Varane, whose performance in the clásico was faultless: “He gives his all on the pitch, which for a 19-year old player is very important. He is still Young and he has to mature as a footballer, but he is on top form right now and he is demonstrating what a good central defender he is”.
When questioned about Messi and the incidents involving Karanka and Arbeloa after last Wednesday’s game, he was clear: “I saw the Aitor (Karanka) incident because I was right behind him. It is true that Messi called him ‘Mourinho’s muppet’. It isn’t unusual for people to get hot under the collar on the playing field and to say things that they regret later. But it is out of order for a fellow professional to slag off another player when he is with his wife. The situation that occurred with Arbeloa is not something I want to go into. The good guys are not as good as people say and the bad guys aren’t as black as they’re painted.”
In reply to a question about the photograph that was published exactly a year ago in which Mourinho was to be seen waiting for the referee at the end of another clásico, Callejon stated: “The Boss’s situation is quite different. I only saw one photograph and I didn’t see him saying anything to the referee”. Finally, on the subject of the racist catcalls reported by Alves at the end of the Spanish semi-final game, he said: “Real Madrid is one of the clubs that has been on the receiving end of the most racist insults. It has happened to us and it is a problem that cannot be completely stamped out. It happened to Boateng in Italy and it is a matter of serious concern which we all hope will die out one day once and for all”.