Jose Mourinho was happy to endure more criticism if it means more trophies after Real Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 on Wednesday for its first Copa del Rey trophy in 18 years. (Also Read: Ronaldo strike sinks Barcelona)
Mourinho was roundly criticized for his defensive tactics in Saturday's 1-1 league draw against Barcelona. Madrid honorary president Aldfredo Di Stefano and Johan Cruyff publicly hit out at the Portuguese coach, with Cruyff saying Mourinho only worked for titles and wasn't a "football coach." (Also Read: Madrid rejoices after win)
"Winning titles is winning titles - it's always good. Only a few days ago someone called me a coach who wins titles and not football," Mourinho said from the Mestalla stadium. "Thank you - I like being a coach who wins titles."
Mourinho had said on Tuesday that Di Stefano's remarks were respected but that he was the coach and he would decide how the team would play.
He did and it worked.
Mourinho's plan to play without a natural striker - with Cristiano Ronaldo filling the role - and use constant upfield pressure forced Barcelona off its usual short passing game. The Spanish champion uncharacteristically gave away possession and even resorted to sending long balls forward in attack.
"They played similar to Saturday's draw," said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. "They changed players but the concept was pretty much the same as the Bernabeu."
Madrid was unlucky not to be ahead before Ronaldo headed Angel Di Maria's 103rd-minute cross into goal for Madrid's 18th domestic cup and the Portuguese coach's fourth in four different leagues.
"This is such an important goal for Madrid," the Portugal forward said. "It's one to remember."
As expected, Mourinho delivered again, ending a three-year silverware drought for the Spanish giant.
"The title isn't just mine, it's everyone's. After so long without the Copa del Rey, it's nice," Mourinho said. "This has nothing to do with titles, this has to do with changing the structure of how the club works, the mentality of people."
With Madrid eight points behind Barcelona in the league, Mourinho will turn his attention to a two-legged Champions League series with Barcelona that caps four games between the rivals in 18 days.
Mourinho has a chance to deny Guardiola a second straight trip to the European final after doing so last year with Inter Milan, as Barcelona failed with a trophy on the line for the first time under Guardiola.
"If tonight we don't win I leave sad but relaxed," Mourinho said. "The same."