Iker Casillas departure highlights gulf in class between Real Madrid and Barcelona

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One of the summer's worst kept secrets is out in the open.

Iker Casillas has finally left Real Madrid. Or should that be Iker Casillas was ushered out of the side door whilst no one was looking.

That's certainly how things appeared as "San Iker" addressed his final press conference alone.


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Yes, alone. 

25 years sterling service, a true one club man, and not even one single club official, let alone the president Florentino Perez, could be bothered to turn up to wish him well before his move to Porto.

Compare that with the moving on of another legend, Xavi Hernandez.

Red carpet

Barcelona's most decorated player had the red carpet rolled out for him and then some.

As he made his way onto the pitch for his final league game at Camp Nou, a four-story flag of himself rolled down from the top tiers. "Gracies Xavi" was the simple message it espoused.

Simple, yet perfectly apt. Thank you Xavi.

A symmetrical mosaic of Barca's blaugrana colours provided another perfect backdrop.

If that weren't enough, there was a special ceremony planned to which all of the Barcelona players available attended. Along with Carles Puyol, Xavi's family and Josep Maria Bartomeu, the president.

It was the type of send off that Xavi deserved. It was also the send off that Iker Casillas should've received but Real Madrid were woefully inadequate and contemptuous in their treatment of the keeper in his final act.


That was until the uproar from the locals meant an uneasy Perez had to reconsider.

Just 25 hours later, Casillas was forced to return to the Santiago Bernabeu for what amounted to a photocall and a face-saving exercise for a president that had little interest in the whole shebang.

Even Casillas' mother was forced to break her silence on her son's treatment. Mari Carmen Fernandez told El Mundo (h/t Iain Rogers, Reuters via Daily Mail): "Iker has put up with a great deal, he has suffered psychological pressure and they treated him differently to other players.

"I have watched him suffer for many years. It is Florentino who is pushing him out because he wanted to end his career at Real Madrid."

There are two sides to every story of course, but since Jose Mourinho's era, the lack of support for the custodian from within the club has been marked.

In many respects a move is the best for all parties, but for a club that holds itself out as being the best n the world, Real Madrid have fallen well below the gold standard to which they aspire on this occasion.

Fernandez again, per Liam Corless of the Daily Mirror: "A world champion can't end up at Porto. He could have gone wherever he wanted and I wouldn't have minded if it were Barcelona because they are perfect gentlemen."

Hearing the word Barcelona would've been like a dagger to Perez's heart but regardless of the tirade coming from a protective mother, she does actually have a point.

Even the 2,000 fans who happened to be within walking distance of the stadium for Iker's second goodbye could be heard singing the keeper's praises and castigating the president.

Gracies Iker

Taking him to task for the way in which he continues to ride roughshod over everyone in his path at the club.

Remember...Carlo Ancelotti had the highest win percentage of any Real Madrid manager ever, yet Perez still saw fit to dispense with his services despite the protests of Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo to name two.

It simply isn't the way to treat your employees and especially not one who has given you a quarter of a century of sterling service.

Gracies Iker.

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