Some things never change, even after getting warned and fined about the matter. Jose Mourinho doesn’t care about the league much anymore, preferring to have his best lineup available for the Clasico against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey. So, once again, he tells Alvaro Arbeloa and Luka Modric (different players from the previous incident) to get booked intentionally.
If anyone was watching the Real Madrid vs Sevilla match, it didn’t look like Arbeloa needed too many directions to get booked. He seemed to be on a mission to get a yellow card from the first minute, but from the video you’ll see, it appears the actual intent to get booked only came up after Mourinho gave him the right kind of incentive from the bench. Same goes for Modric, who didn’t foul, but made a blatant disruption of the match at a time that’s not sensible (who cares where the free kick is from if it’s not near the goal and you’re up 4-1) and also got himself booked.
Last time, it was over two years ago in the Champions League. Mourinho getting Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos sent off after leading 4-0 at Amsterdam against Ajax, so there isn’t a chance they’ll be booked and miss the first match of the knockout stages. He could have simply not used them in the next match, but Mourinho prefers doing it in a way that screams “I don’t give a F$%^ about your rules.”
On that occasion, Mourinho was fined £33,500, and was also banned for two Champions League matches, the second of which is suspended for three years. Mourinho claimed that everyone does this and only he gets punished for it. Maybe. He’s the one who got caught, for sure, by the cameras and some diligent lip reading and connect the dots work, for a second time.
It’s challenging fair play, and bending the rule in an unsportsmanlike manner. Instead of not fielding the players in his squad for the “unimportant” match, Mourinho sends his players to commit flagrant fouls or waste time. The comparison to other sports, especially basketball, which can become a foul-a-thon in the closing minutes, all sponsored by the referees and the league, is wrong. Each sport has different values and a system of rules. Bending those rules is OK, but to a point. Players deliberately taking themselves out of matches isn’t something that should be allowed.