He's the face of Spanish football. He's got his gloves in the Santiago Bernabeau museum. Iker Casillas is a living legend. The Real Madrid goalkeeper is one of the best on the planet. He's won everything. He's got the following in his trophy case: 1 world cup, 5 La Liga titles, 2 European championships, 4 SuperCopas, 2 Champions League titles, and a big lot of goalkeeper accolades, and don't forget about the hottest Spanish reporter on the planet as his girlfriend (and they've got a baby Casillas on the way).
So, what's the problem? Iker Casillas is now sitting on the bench. I don't get it. Diego Lopez (the current #1 Real Madrid keeper) has done a fine job. He's a top keeper in his own right but come on Real Madrid. You're going to relegate a legend who is in the prime of his career. I haven't seen any evidence that points to Casillas being off a step in his skills. In fact, Spain's national team (lead by manager Vicente del Bosque) still has Iker Casillas as their #1 goal keeper. Did RM forget that Spain is currently ranked #1 in the world?
I thought that after "the Special One" aka Jose Mourinho left for Chelsea that Casillas would retain his position in the starting 11. The new manager, Carlo Ancelloti, has a good football intellect and I figured Casillas would be an integral part of the plan. Ancelloti recently said that Casillas must be patient and he'll have his chance. But, why then has Diego Lopez started the last two matches? I don't get it.
The rumors now are that Casillas must go. We're in a world cup year and if he wants to continue being the Spain #1, he must see regular first team football. The EPL is apparently calling. ManCity, Arsenal, and a number of other clubs would take him in a heartbeat. However, Casillas is a Real Madrid ambassador. He's made over 475 appearances with the club, he's the captain, he was born and mostly raised in Madrid, and he embodies everything Madrid is looking for: smart, honest, hard working, a winner, and extremely loyal to the club. He's got 100 wins in a "La Roja" jersey. So, once again, what gives?
This goalkeeper dilemma has got to be heavy on his mind. Should he stay? Should he go? I can't imagine seeing Casillas in another uniform. With the transfer window coming to a close, should he catch a plane to England? His home and family are in Madrid. He's built everything for "los blancos". He first started for them when he was a fresh faced 18 year old. I feel for the man. He plays the game right and is a leader both on the field and in the dressing room.
Casillas deserves more respect from everyone at Real Madrid. I don't care how well Lopez is playing, Casillas needs his chance again. If that doesn't happen, he may have to say "adios" in the winter transfer market. Being the starter in Brazil is motivation enough but we must all consider that the man has helped turn Real Madrid into one of the best clubs in the world. Enough said. Keep doing your thing San (Saint) Iker! Your time will come again and if it doesn't, "Inglaterra" is calling.