Iker Casillas gets candid about his time in Real Madrid and shares his unfiltered emotions.
Published By: Nirbhay Singh
Iker Casillas recently interacted at Universo Valdano program, from the ‘Vamos’ channel of Movistar +. The former World Cup winner talked about various issues and reflected on his time at Real Madrid.
On his debut, Iker Casillas shared a strange story about a man who is reputed for being too affectionate, Hierro.
“I shared a room with Hierro and he left me alone in the room, instead of supporting an 18-year-old. I could have been better but making my debut in San Mamés at the age of 18 was not easy.”
The Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is known for bringing in the Galacticos to the club for improving the economy and bring in more of revenue. The scheme was to buy players with marketability who could contribute on the pitch as well. Iker Casillas has pointed towards the backlash of the scheme.
“Florentino raised Real Madrid to the maximum power, but everything good has something bad, a team had to make good players and good players. Three years winning only one Super Cup in Spain is a very poor baggage for a team like Madrid and even the president had to leave, it was impotent to have had great players and have put Real Madrid on a global level and that it did not translate into titles.”
Whenever the time of Iker is recalled in Madrid, one name which comes up to the mind is of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager who didn’t have the best of relations with the Spanish goalkeeper. Iker claims that he wasn’t amused by the spirit of the team during that period which turned the El Classicos a bit nasty.
“His [Mourinho] arrival was to compete with Barcelona, moments of great tension, that Madridismo began to come out that I do not like, to a limit that does not go with me, I also believe that the first year of Mourinho we all were in a bubble because of the rage. We won that Cup final that was very beautiful and that people even lived like a Champions League, but we did not know how to finish in the Champions. On a personal level the situation was touched after the second season and in the third year there were already many people who began to shake the relationship and it was not good for him, neither for me nor for Real Madrid.”
Iker also referred to his relationship with Mourinho which apparently derailed due to various rifts and conflicts. He explained how would he deal with it differently had he got a chance to.
“I think that if it happened again I would have taken the bull by the horns and I would have faced Mourinho. At that time I chose to be quiet and I thought that was the way to honor the values of Real Madrid. Nowadays none has spoken again of the other, better let it be and let it go.”
Iker also didn’t subscribe to the war-like situation between Real Madrid and Barcelona under the reign of Jose Mourinho.
“It was crazy, that Real Madrid started to come out that I never liked, it seemed like there was a political war between Catalonia and Spain, I am Madridista and I want Madrid to always win, but I’m not going to that extreme.”
Iker who was the captain of Spanish NT which won two Euros and a World Cup in their historic period of dominance. One of the protagonists alongside the Real Madrid man was the Barcelona legend Xavi. Iker claims he is still a friend of his and had only words of praise to describe the midfielder
“Our trip has gone hand in hand, Xavi had a way of handling the ball, he manages the rhythm, and at 17 he was already ahead of his time.”
Finally, Iker Casillas talked about the farewell he got when he left his boyhood club. The now Porto man believes he would have been seen as a villain if he stayed any longer so it was the best decision of his to leave.
“If I had continued at Real Madrid I would have had a worse end than I had.”
This comes just a short while after Iker Casillas revealed that he would be willing to return to Real Madrid and Spanish NT if called upon.