Jose Mourinho backs Pepe following alleged stamp

Jose Mourinho
© PA Photos
Jose Mourinho backs Pepe following the uproar over his alleged stamp on Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has backed his defender Pepe following his stamp on Lionel Messi in their clash with Barcelona.

The Madrid giants were beaten 2-1 by arch-rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.

However, the majority of headlines were on the bad-tempered challenges throughout the match, with Pepe appearing to stamp on Lionel Messi. The incident was missed by the referee, but the Portuguese defender has insisted that it was "unintentional".

"If Pepe had said publicly that it was intentional and he had told me the same thing then I would have been really mad," the former Chelsea boss told Real Madrid's official website.

"But he said it was not on purpose and I believe him. If some amongst you think Pepe is a liar, that is your right.

"But I did not see you casting doubt last season on the player who denied making racist remarks. Quite to the contrary in fact, everyone believed him including UEFA."

Real Madrid face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.

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2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4Leganes11001013
5Valencia11001013
6Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
7GironaGirona10102201
8Espanyol10101101
9Sevilla10101101
10Athletic Bilbao10100001
11Getafe10100001
12EibarEibar00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Villarreal00000000
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17AlavesAlaves100101-10
18Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30
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