Iker Casillas: Can he afford to stay at Real Madrid?

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Iker Casillas is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He has been Real Madrid's first-choice keeper for 14 seasons - until the injury he picked up last term.

Casillas started his career in Real Madrid's youth system, when he was only 10.

He worked his way up to the first team and made his senior debut at the age of 18.

Since then he has become an integral part of Real's starting XI throughout the years. No matter who was the manager at the Bernabeu, Casillas has always been a first-choice goalkeeper.

He has made a total of 625 appearances for Los Merengues for 13 seasons.

Iker started season 2012-13 as a first-choice keeper, as usual, until he fractured a bone in his left hand in a match against Valencia in January.

He faced being sidelined for up to 3 months and would miss both games against Manchester United.

Manager Jose Mourinho needed a new keeper and a few days later Diego Lopez was bought from Sevilla.

Lopez put in a string of great performances and made the position his own until the end of the season, even though Casillas returned from injury.

This was a big shock for Casillas and all the Madridistas, who wanted Iker back between the posts.

In the end of the season Mourinho left Real and Carlo Ancelotti replaced him. Everyone thought that Casillas will be back in the starting XI, but Ancelotti kept Casillas on the bench.

For the first three games of the season Diego Lopez has started for Madrid and speculation is gathering pace about Casillas' future. There was even speculation about him joining Barcelona, but he decided to stay at the Bernabeu.

A few days later, Ancelotti said that he will use Casillas in the Champions League.

Yet the Spaniard can't only play in the Champions League and probably in the Copa del Rey, especially in a World Cup year. With Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina and David de Gea all challenging for Casillas' place in the National team, Iker will have to win his place back from Diego Lopez or make a switch in the January transfer window and there isn't a lack of suitors fot the veteran goalkeeper.

Reports suggest that Manchester City and Arsenal are interested in the Spaniard and will try to buy him, once the transfer window opens again in the winter.

Both Joe Hart and Wojciech Szczesny haven't impressed lately for Manchester City and Arsenal, respectively.

Arsenal tried to sign Casillas in the summer, but failed and had to sign Emiliano Viviano on loan from Palermo, who will probably provide the competition Szczesny needs.

Joe Hart, on the other hand, is City's first-choice keeper at the moment and will still be when the New Year arrives, unless he gets injured. He is also England's best keeper, with hardly any competition for his place, and City would probably leave the opportunity to sign Casillas.

Casillas is known for his loyalty and determination and probably won't leave Real Madrid. 

We all know his future is at Real Madrid, no matter who wants him, and sooner or later he will be back between the posts at the Bernabeu.

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La Liga
Iker Casillas
Real Madrid

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