Iker Casillas reveals his pain when he was booed by fans
In a frank television interview with Spanish journalist Inaki Gabilondo, Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas admitted that in his darkest moments at Real Madrid, he felt like he was "the plague".
The 33-year-old custodian said that being pushed out of the first team at Real, first by Jose Mourinho then by his successor Carlo Ancelotti for 18 months was so difficult that at one point he thought about leaving his childhood club.
He decided to stay because felt that he needed to fight for his place in the team, reported Eurosport.
“This is my home. You don’t understand what my life would be like without Madrid.” - Iker Casillas
He was publicly attacked by Jose Mourinho for being a dressing room leak.
At that point, rumours circulated that he was the source of stories in the Spanish media about unrest in the Madrid dressing room.
“I was called a mole and a traitor, which is unfair. I have a close relationship with some journalists because I have known them for many years, but I can distinguish the relationship of friend with that of journalist.” - Casillas
When pressed if he thought it was a smear campaign orchestrated by Mourinho or his club president, he refused to wade in saying that he saw a lot of dirt.
In fact, if anyone wanted fireworks from the interview, they would have been sorely disappointed.
While Casillas was frank about his feelings when he was dropped from the first team, he did not criticise the man who first benched him.
He did acknowledge that during that time his relationship with Mourinho deteriorated, especially after he felt that he lost the backing of Madrid president, Florentino Perez, but Casillas maintained that Mourinho was good for Madrid.
“Jose Mourinho’s time at Madrid was good for us. I will always think that. We were equal with Barca for a while and in the first season things were good, in the last season they were not so good. I have the utmost respect for my coaches but when something goes on you should not discuss it, you should respect your boss,” he said.
A gentleman indeed.
Source: Eurosport, Xinhua