Jose Mourinho backs Pepe following alleged stamp

Mourinho backs Pepe
© 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.

Pele
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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