Former Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas was 'forced out' of the club by president Florentino Perez, according to the Los Blancos legend's parents.
The comments come after Real announced on Saturday that Casillas was to leave the Santiago Bernabeu for FC Porto after spending 16 seasons playing for the Madrid giants.
The club followed up the statement by posting a glowing review of the academy product on their official website, in which they labelled him "the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the club and in the history of Spanish football."
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However, in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, Casillas's parents Jose Luis and Mari Carmen have claimed that current Madrid president Florentino Perez has been against their son since the day he reclaimed his post for a second term in 2009.
"This president has never liked him because he's short. You wouldn't believe the things that Iker has had to put up with; psychologically, he's been put under a lot of pressure," Mari Carmen told El Mundo.
The pair also believe that Casillas was not allowed to sign for another European heavyweight because Perez was afraid that Casillas could potentially come back to haunt his former employers in a similar way to how Alvaro Morata helped Juventus to knock out Madrid in the Champions league last season.
"Of course, my son has had other offers. But Florentino didn't want him to go to a top club and suffer the same consequences he did with Morata. He doesn't want Casillas to triumph," Carmen continued.
"Porto is a third-tier team for someone of Iker's stature. A world champion can't end up at Porto. He could have gone wherever he wanted and I couldn't have cared if it had been Barcelona because they are gentlemen."
Real Madrid Legend
Casillas joined Real's academy aged nine in 1999 and went on to make 725 appearances for Los Blancos over 16 seasons at the club. In that time he won five La Liga titles, three Champions Legaues and two Copa del Rey's among other triumphs.
Arguably his finest moment in goal for Real came in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen where he came on as a substitute for the injured Cesar, midway through the second half.
Casillas made a number of vital saves in the dying minutes of the game to preserve Madrid's narrow 2-1 advantage and give the Spanish giants their ninth Champions League title. In turn he went down in Real folklore.
The shot-stopper also holds the record for the Spanish national team's all time appearance list with 162 apps, during which time he captained Spain to the 2010 World Cup and European Championship title on two occasions in 2008 and 2012.
Casillas's departure is also widely expected to pave the way for the arrival of David de Gea from Manchester United in the coming weeks, with the Spaniard believed to have been in negotiations with the Real since the middle of the previous campaign.
However, with talks coming to a stand-still in recent days Real have reportedly turned their attentions to RCD Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla as a 'plan B' should a move for De Gea not come to fruition.
Coupled with Perez's supposed distrust in current back-up Keylor Navas, it seems almost inevitable that Los Blancos will have a new number one at the club next season. The question is who will it be?
Real fans, was Casillas' exit handled correctly? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.
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