A mere day after Real Madrid were on the losing end of a 5-0 scoreline to Barcelona, the former’s manager, Jose Mourinho, found himself the subject of a two match UEFA touchline ban for allegedly ordering two of his players, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, to get get sent off at the end of a 4-0 drubbing of Ajax in the Champions League last month (above). “”I see this punishment as a medal,” sniffed The Special One, in comments captured by Reuters.

“I’m not going to change,” Mourinho said. “My grandmother died a long time ago but I remember what she told me as a child: ‘If they are envious of you, you should be happy,’ and this has happened to me.

“I’m pleased there is one rule for José Mourinho and one for the other coaches. It’s a historic punishment for me. Following the line of my old grandmother, it’s a medal not a punishment. I can’t leave the technical area, others can. I can’t pick up a ball an adversary wants, others can. I can’t speak with the fourth official, others can. They are medals, so no worries.”

After the Ajax game, Spanish media reported the Real players had acted on instructions from Mourinho. They said the message was passed from Mourinho to the reserve goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek and on to the first-choice keeper, Iker Casillas.

The sendings off mean Alonso and Ramos will serve automatic one-match suspensions in the final group game against Auxerre, which is a dead match for Real as they are assured of first place in Group G and qualification for the last 16.

Both players had accumulated two yellow cards in the group stage before they were sent off and a further yellow card in a subsequent game would have meant a one-match suspension during the knockout rounds.