Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has slammed the "politics" surrounding Real Madrid for bringing his tenure at the club to an end.
The 50-year-old was shown the door after a desperately disappointing final season that saw Los Blancos surrender their Liga crown to Barcelona and lose the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid.
Mourinho also became embroiled in high-profile public spats with goalkeeper Iker Casillas and defender Pepe as his Madrid empire began to crumble, and the Portuguese says there was not enough focus on football in the Spanish capital.
"Madrid is a special club. It is not just a club. Madrid is politics. Madrid is not about football, Madrid is not about sport, but about many [other] things around," he revealed to ESPN.
"In the second year [on the bench], we won the championship. We were the best team in Spanish history, we did 100 points, we scored 121 goals, and then the third year was the year of elections.
"Elections in that club mean a lot and we were in the middle of things that were not normal and only people that are inside can understand what it is."
While Mourinho nevertheless defended his final season in charge, he admitted that his side failed to perform to expectations of achieving silverware.
"The season was not so bad. We reached the cup [Copa del Rey] final. Of course we lost but we reached the cup final," the Portuguese said.
"We reached the Champions League semifinals [and were] one goal from the final so the season was not so bad.
"But finishing without trophies, only with the Super Cup – we beat Barcelona in the Super Cup – is not enough for me."
Carlo Ancelotti has now been appointed as Mourinho's replacement and Mourinho could even face his successor before the season begins, with both clubs on a collision course in the Guinness International Champions Cup.