Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has opened up about his experience of coaching in the most intense rivalry of his career: El Clasico. Mourinho spoke to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on the Five Podcast, where he shared his insights into the clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona that dominated Spanish and European football between 2010 and 2013.

Mourinho, who is currently without a club after being sacked by Roma mid-season, said that El Clasico was more than just a game, it was a “war” that involved not only the players and the coaches, but also the fans, the media, and the institutions.

“These three years in Real Madrid were years of an enormous rivalry with Barcelona,” Mourinho said. “In that moment we had the best Cristiano, the best Messi. Barcelona were the best team in the world and Real Madrid trying change that.

“In this period the world stopped for Barcelona-Real and Real-Barcelona. “In one season Barcelona wins, and another Madrid wins. It was beautiful.

“In 1 season, we had 6 El Clasicos. The world stopped for Barca-Real games. That era was tremendous.”

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