Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos and sporting director Jorge Valdano are united in their condemnation of UEFA for handing out what they see as an excessive ban to coach Jose Mourinho.
The outspoken Portuguese tactician was handed a five-game ban from European competitions, with a further two games suspended, following his outburst in the first-leg of the Champions League semifinal tie against Barcelona.
"We are fully with the coach and I hope that his ban is reduced somewhat," Ramos told AS after Madrid’s 6-2 victory over Sevilla in the Primera Division on Saturday.
Valdano was equally strident in his criticism of UEFA, pointing out that Mourinho had been treated more stringently than other coaches.
"They were excessive,” he stated. “Throughout the season, there were many coaches who made very harsh statements and they received more lenient sentences because UEFA did want to make it a topic of conversation and create controversy."
Ramos also took time to reflect on his team's victory against his former club, which means that Barcelona will have to wait for a little longer before mathematically securing the league title.
"Today was a game where we were playing for personal pride and wanted to make a good impression,” enthused the Spain international. “In the end, the three points mean Barcelona have to wait.
"I am sorry for the team [Sevilla] because they will play in the Europa League but for many years now I have played for another side and I have to give everything. We have had some good results lately but not always, for example against Zaragoza [a 3-2 loss for Madrid]."