Carlos Secretario has backed claims made by Real Madrid defender Pepe that Portuguese players and coaches often receive unfair treatment in Spain.
The Blancos defender suggested recently that he has often felt under pressure when playing in La Liga as a result of his nationality, and the former right-back has added his support to the comments.
Secretario told Antena 1:”For the short time I was at Real Madrid I know that when things go well, everyone is well treated, but when they go wrong, as a rule, it’s the foreigners who pay.”
The former Porto player also pointed to the treatment of compatriot Jose Mourinho, who has consistently drawn criticism from some quarters since taking charge at Santiago Bernabeu in 2010.
“The Spanish are very nationalistic. They demand a lot from the coach simply because he is Portuguese. And Mourinho, by his nature, is widely disliked,” Secretario added.
However, Miguel Cardenal, president of the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) insists that Portuguese players and coaches are widely respected within the country due to their impact upon the Spanish game.
“You have to convince him that he [Pepe] is not right, that we have great affection here for the people of Portugal, and that the Portuguese have contributed hugely to our football … [There are] wonderful Portuguese players, coaches, who have given much to the Spanish game,” Cardenal told Radio Marca.
“You have to find out what Pepe did to feel this way, to let him see the opposite: that he is loved here, that the fans of his team have backed him even during difficult times.”