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Madrid, May 6 (EFE).- The president of Real Madrid soccer club appealed for unity Monday amid public squabbling between players and the coaching staff.
Florentino Perez took the opportunity of a previously scheduled event at the club's Santiago Bernabeu stadium to send a message to manager Jose Mourinho, his assistants and the players.
"Real Madrid is driven by the strength, energy, feelings and passion of millions of fans. We are always obligated to them, because they push us forward every day and they are always on our side," the club president said.
The soccer squad has had a disappointing season, consigned to second place in La Liga and eliminated last week from the Champions League, though the side can still has a chance for a trophy in the May 17 Copa del Rey final against crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid's basketball team, meanwhile, has qualified for Europe's Final Four.
"We soon will confront two new and great challenges: the basketball Final Four in London and the Copa del Rey soccer final," Perez said Monday.
"We must be united, give the best we have, precisely for our people and our followers. And our players will do that," the club boss said.
The Spanish press blasted Mourinho for appearing to blame the players after last week's Champions League semifinal loss to Borussia Dortmund.
There is also friction between the Portuguese manager - almost sure to leave after this season - and former starting goaltender Iker Casillas, who remains on the bench even though he has recovered from the injury he suffered months ago.
Casillas, the veteran keeper and captain of Spain's World Cup-winning national team, is a popular figure in the Iberian nation.