Despite being dropped from the Real Madrid starting line-up for a lot of last season, Iker Casillas has now praised the impact that Jose Mourinho had during his time at the club.
During his three seasons in the Spanish capital, the Special One managed to loosen Barcelona's tight grip over the domestic game. A Copa del Rey final victory over the Catalan club in his debut season was followed by the league crown the following year.
However, Mourinho's final campaign was one of near misses, and also one in which he notably dropped Casillas.
Speaking at a press conference during the club's pre-season tour of the USA, the Spanish goalkeeper stated: "You have to be grateful for Mourinho's contribution to Real Madrid, but now we have to start with the hope that the club can be at the top.
"He's a winner, that's obvious to everyone, but he'll make it clear from the beginning. This club was on the edge of titles last season; we want to complete our objectives in all three competitions."
The Portuguese manager left the Bernabeu earlier this summer, having taken Madrid to a Champions League semi-final, Copa del Rey final, and to second-place in La Liga.
Mourinho would have understandably been disappointed not to have won anything in his final campaign. And now the club are looking forward to being under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti, who secured the Ligue 1 title for Paris Saint-Germain this year.
But a change in manager still won't guarantee Casillas an automatic return to the first team on a regular basis. Diego Lopez will remain a rival for the coveted starting place in the Madrid side.
"Competition is always healthy. There are very good goalkeepers here and we must learn to live with that. I hear a lot about competition for my post, but in other parts of the pitch there are two of three players for one position as well," explained the one-club-man.
"I would love to be No.1 keeper. I work for it. But if you ask the others, they're going to say the same. You have to compete to play in the XI of Ancelotti. I will have to fight as I always have."
Casillas remains the club captain, and will want to add to his impressive 476 appearances for Madrid before he finally hangs up his gloves.
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