Casillas hints at Madrid stay

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has hinted that he wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite his lack of first team opportunities.

The Spain legend found himself on the bench under previous manager Jose Mourinho, and his replacement Carlo Ancelotti has also favoured Diego Lopes at the start of the current campaign.

However, Casillas got his chance to impress in last night’s Champions League outing against Copenhagen, and kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 victory over the Danish outfit.

Having been linked with a move away from Los Blancos in the summer, most notably to Arsenal and Manchester City, questions afterwards understandably focused on his long-term future in the capital. But, the stopper was quick to dispel transfer rumours, insisting he’s been treated well and that the club is bigger than him.

"It was a long time without playing in the Bernabeu in an official match and getting back to wearing this shirt makes me feel proud," he told the official Real Madrid website.

"It has been a very long time and a lot has happened in that time but I have not tried to hide anything. When you've gone so long without playing, lots of things go through your head, but my dream is to keep playing until the mind and body will permit.

"The club has treated me very well and Real Madrid are more important than Casillas. What I want is to play football and do so for Real Madrid. Right now, the aim is to keep going."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was linked with a move for Casillas during the summer transfer window, but eventually failed in his efforts to bring the player to the Emirates Stadium.

Instead, the Gunners added Emiliano Viviano on loan, with the Italian international moving to north London from Palermo to challenge Wojciech Szczesny.

New Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was also linked with a move to bring Casillas to England, with the club mooted as a potential destination last month.

The Citizens also failed in their efforts to capture the 32-year-old, and now appear to be paying the price as Joe Hart comes under intense pressure between the sticks at the Etihad Stadium.

England’s number one made two mistakes in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich last night, leaving Manchester City to rue their lack of depth in the position.

For Casillas, it’s all about focusing on the challenges ahead in Madrid, and attempting to win trophies for the new manager.

"The team should be congratulated because we managed to win, which was not easy," added the 32-year-old.

"The players try to make it better. We have to focus on the present, as we have a team with great quality. Real Madrid is the most demanding club and playing in this team and for Spain means that people have opinions of you.

"You have to respect the most critical people and work hard to change their minds so they are with the team so that, together, we can win titles."

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Premier League
Manchester City
Iker Casillas
Real Madrid
La Liga

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