Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has said that he would have liked to brought in the goalkeeper, Diego Lopez, after his first season at the Spanish club as he is very much impressed with the reserve team goalkeeper. He has managed to stake a claim in the first team ahead of the captain, Iker Casillas. Injury problems and poor form have kept Casillas out of the first team action for a long time now, although there have been rumours that the 31-year-old has fallen out with manager José Mourinho. Casillas is thought to have requested the president Florentino Perez – along with Sergio Ramos – that Mourinho should leave the club in the summer or he would be handing a transfer request.
Casillas made his debut for the Real Madrid team as an 18-year-old several years ago. He has gone on to lift numerous trophies with the Spanish club, while also being considered as a legend by all those connected with Real Madrid. Portuguese defender Pepe has come to the defence of Casillas by saying that Mourinho should be showing more respect to the captain of the team. The rift between Mourinho and his players has been rumoured to be one of the main reasons for the club performing poorly this season.
“There needs to be a little more respect to Iker. Iker is well loved. What the coach said was not the most appropriate. Iker is a player who is part of Madrid. He’s an institution, both in this club and in Spain. Iker is an important player for us. We have the final of the Copa del Rey ahead of us. We want to give a title to our fans and I think every player is important at this moment,” said Pepe after the 4-3 win over Real Valladolid during the weekend.
The forward of Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, has said that his ankle problem is not a severe one and he will play in the Champions League match against his former club Manchester United. That match will be played on 13th of February at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
When asked about his ankle problem, Ronaldo said, “There was nothing serious about my ankle. It was just a minor strain and it has got better now. I will definitely feature for Madrid against Manchester United.”
“That’s going to be a big game. Manchester United is a world class side as we all know. It’s not easy to beat them anywhere in the world. They have got quite a few great players. But, our team is also well balanced and we have been in fine form in recent times. So, it’s going to be an absolute thriller.”
Ronaldo had said last week that the Real Madrid team is stronger than Manchester United. When asked whether Real Madrid will go into that match as favourite, Ronaldo said, “No. I don’t think so. It’s a match between two very strong sides and the side which will execute its plans better on that particular day will win.”
“I believe that we have got a better team than them, but, we need to prove that on the field.”
Ronaldo played for Manchester United for six years between 2003 and 2009. He featured for the Red Devils in 196 matches and scored 84 goals. Real Madrid had bought Ronaldo from United after paying a record transfer fee of 80 million Pounds.
When asked about his Manchester United career, Ronaldo said, “I enjoyed every single bit of my tenure at United. I had some great times over there. That club has a special place in my heart.”
The Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has admitted that the decision taken by the manager José Mourinho to drop him for the recent match against Malaga was the right decision. The Spaniard is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but that has been a lot of talk about a rift between him and the manager Mourinho. The Portuguese manager decided to drop the Spaniard, who made his debut for the club as an 18-year-old, for the match against Malaga in favour of the reserve goalkeeper Antonio Adán, who has seen very little first-team action.
However, Real Madrid suffered a 3-2 defeat in the match – although not as a consequence of the goalkeeper – and have fallen 16 points behind their arch rivals Barcelona in the table. This has hugely increased the pressure on the manager Mourinho, who has been widely tipped to leave the club at the end of the season. It is thought that most of the club’s board and the backroom staff are behind the 31-year-old Iker Casillas, who was strongly nominated for the FIFA world player of the year award. This has left the position of the manager hugely untenable in the remainder of the season, but Casillas backed the decision by saying that the manager was right to drop him.
“The coach decides which team he thinks is best for each match and you need to accept the decision. I’m not used to being a substitute but above Iker Casillas or any player is the team. What I need to do is continue training and try to recover the confidence of the coach. Throughout the week I could sense that I wasn’t going to play but it’s not a setback. The important thing was that the team won in Málaga to cut the gap to Barça and Atlético Madrid,” said Iker Casillas.
The Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has confirmed that the players still have their trust in the manager José Mourinho, who has come under intense pressure of late due to the poor run of results in the league that has left them 13 points behind their arch rivals Barcelona in the table. Real Madrid were expected to retain the title this season after bringing in players like Luka Modric over the summer. However, there had been a lot of problems at the club this season, which have affected on their performances in the league as well.
After the 2-2 draw with Espanyol at the Santiago Bernebeu during the weekend, the club fell a massive 13 points behind Barcelona in the table. Even José Mourinho admitted after the match that it is now impossible for Real Madrid to win the title this season. He is widely expected to leave the club at the end of the season if the club do not win the Champions League title at least this season. Despite these problems, Casillas has maintained that the players still remained confident that José Mourinho is the right man to lead them. Casillas has pointed out to the league title that the club won last season after a gap of three years under the management of Mourinho.
“We all support Mourinho without any doubt. The situation we have is not favourable. We left two points behind [in the 2-2 draw with Espanyol]. We cannot be so far away from Barcelona,” said Iker Casillas after the Espanyol match. While Real Madrid could only draw the match against Espanyol, Barcelona managed a stunning 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid to go nine points clear at the top of the table. Many are suggesting that Barcelona already have one hand on the title.