Madrid, Oct 20 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has denied that his club had recorded a video of fouls committed by Real Madrid central defender Pepe to discredit the player.
The story that Barca had prepared such a video, which has never been seen, was published in the Madrid press Thursday and appears to have snowballed as voices from the capital attempt to launch a smear campaign against the Catalan club, reports Xinhua.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas said that he could never imagine his club carrying out such an action, while club director Miguel Pardeza said he was appalled by the chance Barca could have done something against Pepe, who has a well-deserved reputation for sometimes over physical play.
Speaking to the press ahead of his side's Spanish Primera Liga match away to Deportivo la Coruna, Vilanova denied that any such video had ever been made by the club.
"There is no video of any player," he said. "We record our matches and we don't worry about players from other teams. To say there is a video is a lie, but what happens is that we have had two weeks without league football and that means there are things to talk about," he said.
Interestingly after the 'Clasico' between Barcelona and Real Madrid two weeks ago, Vilanova had commented that you "could make a video of Pepe's fouls," in response to accusations from the central defender that some Barca players were play actors on the pitch.
Looking at the Deportivo game, Vilanova explained that central defender Gerard Pique was still out with an ankle injury.
"He is not 100 percent fit and we are not going to take a risk. He will be back when the doctors say he can play and that depends on how his injury evolves," said the Barca coach.