When you think of legendary leaders in the game of football, it won’t be long before your mind settles on Iker Casillas.
The nigh-on immortal Spanish goalkeeper was the man with the arm-band during some truly heady days both for Spain and Real Madrid.
He won the World Cup, two European Championships, three Champions Leagues and five La Liga titles – to name but a few of his honours.
Casillas was the sort of man that anyone would be happy to follow into battle, leading by example time and time again in pursuit of the biggest trophies in the game.
Iker was a colossus in goal as well, regularly making stunning saves in crucial moments and from shots that he had no right to stop.
In short, the man was pretty special.
However, while his captaincy credentials were clear for all to see on the pitch, it seems he was an adept leader off of it as well.
Those skills were on full show when he light-heartedly diffused a potentially awkward incident in 2013 when teammate Fabio Coentrao sat down next to him on the Real Madrid bench.
With one eye on an upcoming Copa Del Rey final, manager Jose Mourinho had shuffled his pack for the clash with Espanyol, relegating several big name stars to the bench.
Coentrao, however, was completely dropped from the squad so, when he casually took up a seat on the bench, Casillas was left with a tricky task.
Casillas, who was briefly confused, was forced to tell the defender that he wasn’t actually in the match-day squad and therefore shouldn’t be sat on the bench.
He handled it beautifully and, within the seconds, the whole bench, Coentrao included, were having a good laugh.
You can see the incident in the clip below:
Cette fois où Fábio Coentrão s'est présenté sur le banc alors qu'il ne faisait pas partie de l'équipe pour le match.😂 pic.twitter.com/dztlqfZhha— Real Madrid 🇫🇷 (@RMadridFrance_) June 15, 2022
Brilliant – at least he was able to take it in good humour.
Having the whole bench laugh at you for a simple slip of the mind is never fun, but at least Casillas and co were able to help him see the funny side of it all.
Coentrao was back among the starters for a Copa final that Real would go on to lose 2-0.