In a recent interview, former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was asked about his relationship with Jose Mourinho. Casillas answered by saying that it was not always on good terms, likening it to ‘much like a couple in a bad relationship’.
Goal.com quoted the 34-year-old saying: ”It was like being in a couple. The relationship went downhill, we did not have the same chemistry we had at the start.”
Club bigger than Individual
Casillas has always insisted it is the club which is more important than an individual. He further added: “I looked out for the club and I kept my mouth shut. I looked the other way. I shouldn’t have to tell the club what they should do.”
It wasn't always that way. When the Portuguese manager arrived at Real Madrid, Casillas was one of the first names on the team-sheet every week. The scenario changed once the Spanish ace suffered a serious injury to his right hand while playing against Valencia, which compelled Mourinho to buy Diego Lopez in January 2013.
Although he recovered within months, Casillas found it difficult to feature in the first-team because of Lopez's performances, which meant the Spanish legend was demoted to the bench. Casillas left Los Blancos this summer after serving two decades at his boyhood club to join Portuguese outfit FC Porto and has been one of the top performers in the Primeira Liga this season.
Casillas has made nine league appearances boosting a statistic of six clean sheets till date. However, former colleagues have taken the side of the 'keeper over his treatment at Madrid. Fernando Hierro was captain at the Bernabeu when Casillas broke through into the first team, before he became assistant to Carlo Ancelotti in his final year at the club.
Hierro said: “He (Casillas) was not given enough protection for the sportsman he was and for his role in Real Madrid.”
Sergio Ramos was also critical of the treatment Casillas had to endure during the final phases of his Real Madrid career. He said: “He (Casillas) might have suffered more than he should have. Iker has always been very respectful of the people and the fans.”
The keeper-manager duo came face-to-face this term when Chelsea played FC Porto in the Champions League at Estadio do Dragao. Casillas still remains first choice for the Spanish national team under Vicente del Bosque, ahead of David de Gea, captaining the side.
The Spanish No.1 believes he still has the potential to offer much more to the game and it cannot be denied he is ranked among the best goalkeepers of his generation.