Iker Casillas and Real Madrid go together like hand in glove. With the possible exception of Raul, there isn't one player who epitomises Madridisme better than the best keeper that Los Blancos have ever had. So why oh why is he still being treated like a pariah?
During the game against Valencia at the weekend, the jeering, booing and whistling of the custodian got so bad that he finally snapped, uttering an expletive as he did so.
"That's enough, for f**k sake" isn't the kind of language or tone we are used to from this most professional of players, but clearly Casillas has now reached breaking point.
Mourinho sowed the seed
The beginning of the end of this long-lasting love affair can be traced back to the time when Jose Mourinho virtually ripped the heart out of this proud Spanish institution.
The "Special One's" excuse that dropping Casillas for the first time in his Real Madrid career was purely tactical fooled no one.
Yet it planted doubts in the minds of those who pay their hard-earned each week for the privilege of watching their idols at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Eventually restored to his rightful place once Mourinho was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, the barbs from the terraces were unrelenting nevertheless.
Now, with just a handful of games to go in this 2014/15 season, Real face the unenviable task of beating Juventus firstly, followed by one of Barcelona or Bayern, just to ensure they don't end the season trophyless.
Fall from grace
Whilst not entirely his fault, the 2-2 draw against Valencia means that Casillas and co are unlikely to be able to add the La Liga title to their list of honours this season.
When you consider that in the first half of the campaign they had won 12 league games on the bounce, which formed part of an overall 22-game winning streak, it really is quite the fall from grace.
But to blame the same on one of your proudest exponents is a little short-sighted to say the least.
To add to Casillas' woes, he is regularly having to field questions as to the potential arrival of David de Gea from Manchester United.
It leaves a very sour taste in the mouth and it's right that Casillas should expect better from both club and supporters.
One of the most decorated footballers in Spanish football history, he holds the appearance record for both the Spanish national team and for the Champions League.
He retains those records on merit, being fully deserving of continued selection. So why the hate?
If those on the terraces succeed in getting Casillas to leave the club of his life, it would be a hollow victory. In fact, it wouldn't be a victory at all...
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