Mourinho: I was wrong to stick my finger into Vilanova's eye

The Madrid coach has admitted his guilt over the high-profile incident, and revealed he is doing his part to ensure his players keep their tempers in check
NEW YORK -- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has conceded he was wrong to poke current Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova in the eye during a touchline altercation during the Spanish Supercopa last season.

Occuring during the two-legged competition when Vilanova was then-assistant coach to Pep Guardiola, the incident happened in a tie which Los Merengues went on to lose 5-4 on aggregate. Mourinho subsequently had a ban as punishment lifted.

"I should obviously not have done what I did," said Mourinho while on tour with his club in the United States. "Nevertheless, there was a whole story behind that that made me lose a little control.

"The one who failed there was me, and I place plenty of emphasis these days on my players just to continue concentrating on games themselves and controlling their emotions."

The outspoken Portuguese says there is no bad blood any longer between the two coaches.

"There lie no problems between Tito and myself," he said. "We greeted each other normally in subsequent matches. Thankfully, the story is over and we must just hope to avoid such instances in the future."

With his thoughts shifting to the season ahead, the 49-year-old was quick to state his objectives of building upon his club's La Liga triumph by eventually winning the Champions League.

"Last year, we were only eliminated on penalties in Europe. We're close, and if we keep trying, one day it will happen," he said.

The Santiago Bernabeu side crashed out to the eventual runner-up Bayern Munich in the semifinals.

John Rojas contributed reporting to this article

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