Andres Iniesta has hit out at Jose Mourinho for creating an “unbearable” atmosphere between Barcelona and Real Madrid players during his time in charge at the Bernabeu.
The Manchester United boss has been accused of similar behaviour this season, drawing criticism from club legends such as Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand for his treatment of young players in the press.
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There were numerous matches between the two La Liga giants which were marred by unsavoury scenes during Mourinho’s three-year stint at Madrid.
Perhaps the worst incident came when Mourinho, who was once a translator at Barca under Bobby Robson and Louis Van Gaal, turned violent following a mass brawl between the sides in August 2011.
During a melee in the closing stages of their Supercopa clash he was filmed walking over to the late Tito Vilanova, then Barca assistant boss, and gouged his eye in shocking scenes.
And Barcelona legend Iniesta has laid most of the blame for the increased animosity between the two sides at the Portuguese’s doorstep — insisting it has hampered the national team’s progress since.
Spain haven’t gone past the last 16 of a major tournament since The Special One’s departure from Madrid in 2013.
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And speaking on La Sexta’s Salvados show, the legendary midfielder explained his views saying: “You don’t have to be for Barcelona or Real Madrid to know that the situation was unpleasant.
“And the key component in that story was Mourinho. Whoever doesn’t want to see that, is radical.”
He continued: “You didn’t see the rivalry that always existed before, it went beyond that, you saw hate.
“That atmosphere developed and it was unbearable.
“The Barca-Madrid tension caused by Mourinho did much damage to the national team [Spain] and the teammates.”
Iniesta is now plying his trade at Japanese club Vissel Kobe after his 21-year association with the Catalan giants ended in May.
This story originally appeared in The Sun.
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