Iker Casillas understands Real Madrid’s interest in Gareth Bale and has enthused at the first impressions he has had of new Coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The club captain is back with the team for the US stage of their preseason preparations and yesterday went through a first training session under the team’s new Coach, before facing the Press.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet him when I was in Madrid during my vacation and I’m excited,” reflected Casillas to reporters overnight in Los Angeles.
“As always when a new Coach comes there is a new challenge. Overall, I am very pleased and happy to star a new season in Madrid.
“I spoke with Carlo for five minutes and I concluded that he is a winner. From the beginning he has made that clear.
“Madrid need to win and titles and even after last season when we were on the brink, we want to win titles and compete in all three competitions.
“Differences to Jose Mourinho? It is the first session and I cannot see the differences.
“We must thank Mourinho for his contribution, but not look to the past, instead begin with enthusiasm and excitement for this new stage where the club is at the top and winning titles.”
Ancelotti is assisted by Casillas’ former teammate Zinedine Zidane.
“We are speaking of a person with a special charisma, a player who struck a chord with Real Madrid. He is someone who will help the players a lot and especially the younger ones.
“We are delighted with his contribution to Real Madrid.”
The 32-year-old reflected on the competition for a starting spot he is expected to face next season from Diego Lopez.
“Competition is always healthy. There are very good goalkeepers here and we must learn to live with that.
“There is a lot of competition for my position, but in other areas of the field there are two or three players also in line for one position.”
Increased competition is in part down to Madrid’s activity so far in the transfer window.
“Frankly I would say the work has been excellent. We have seen the team renewed with young players and that is good for the team, to be rejuvenated.
“I see a great mix and I hope that this year’s team, with maturity, can push for all the titles and for the European Cup that long ago I won.”
One continued target for the club is Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, whose high valuation is now attracting criticism.
“We are talking about a player who is one of the three or four best in Europe and it is normal to talk about him because he has very good facets for the game.
“The valuation? All operations are controversial for better or worse, but we are talking about a decisive player, one who is very good.
“Until the transfer window is closed there is the chance of someone arriving.”