Real Madrid's Champions League campaign had just ended in defeat when Jose Mourinho spotted an opportunity to send a message.

Even though Madrid can still end a mediocre season — mediocre by its high standards, anyway — with the Copa del Rey title, Mourinho is laying the groundwork for a divorce, dropping heavy hints about a return to the English Premier League and Chelsea, the team he managed from June 2004 to September 2007.

Mourinho said after Tuesday's elimination that "I know in England I am loved."

"In Spain the situation is a little bit different because some people hate me, and many of them are in this room."