Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho struggled to cope with the extreme pressure during his eventful and challenging three-year spell in charge of Real Madrid, according to the La Liga club's former president Ramon Calderon.
Mourinho, who joined Real Madrid in May 2010 after winning the Champions League with Inter, exited the club under a cloud after claims the charismatic manager had fallen out with senior players such as long-time captain Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. The claims were later compounded by a failure to retain their domestic title and a 2-1 defeat to rivals Atletico in the Copa del Rey final.
The Portuguese's strong personality coupled with the impossibly high level of expectation that persists at the Santiago Bernabeu was always likely to result in Mourinho's tenure being relatively short, but Calderon insists that he displayed an uncharacteristic inability to handle the pressure associated with such a difficult job.
"To be a manager of Real Madrid is really, really difficult," he said. "See what happened to Mourinho. He is someone who is used to coping with pressure and he couldn't."
Mourinho won a total of three trophies during his time in Spain and was eventually replaced in the role by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. The experienced Italian, who delivered a Premier League and FA Cup double during his own spell at Stamford Bridge, cemented his place in Real Madrid folklore last season by ending the club's agonising wait for a tenth European crown but could face uncertainty moving forward with rumours suggesting that doubts over his future had arisen following the recent 4-0 humbling in the Madrid derby.
Despite that defeat, Real currently lead La Liga and stand one point clear of second-placed Barcelona heading into the clash against lowly Elche on Sunday evening. Ancelotti's men will also take a commanding two-goal lead into their Champions League last 16 second-leg tie against Schalke thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo.
An unfortunate struggle to bring consistent success to one of the world's most renowned and demanding clubs thankfully does not seem to have had too much of a detrimental impact on Mourinho's career. It looks increasingly likely that he will claim a third Premier League title in May with Chelsea, currently seven points ahead of nearest challengers and reigning champions Manchester City.