Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez has thanked Iker Casillas for his recent praise and insisted their relationship is a positive one.
The players are vying for a starting spot with Los Blancos but Lopez is usually the goalkeeper chosen in the League by Carlo Ancelotti, with Casillas playing in the Cup and the Champions League.
Lopez was in goal for Madrid’s 1-0 win over Malaga on Saturday and said despite the team’s performance being a little sub-par, they still deserved the win.
“We had many chances to score more goals,” Lopez told reporters after the final whistle.
“We controlled the game, although the score led to some uncertainty near the end.
“It was clearly not our best game but we didn’t have many problems. We were in control.
“With a 1-0 score line you should have finished the game before the final whistle and while it was tight, it hasn’t cost us.
“We should continue with the same mood and playing the same way, picking up points.”
Lopez added that the upcoming Clasico with Barcelona on March 23 is an important game but no more important than any of the 10 remaining League fixtures.
“It’s game-by-game and there are 10 more, not just the Clasico, although it matters a lot,” he continued.
“We’ll be four points ahead for that game and it’s important to arrive with strength and desire.
“It’s a great opportunity and while it’ll be difficult, it’s at our stadium and in front of our fans. The team is very good.”
On the subject of Casillas – who recently said that Lopez was a major reason Madrid are leading the League – Lopez was equally complimentary.
“I respect everyone’s opinion and I want to help my club, and fight for the team as Iker does,” Lopez said.
“He is the captain and an icon and I appreciate his words.
“I’m a lot happier when I play but I like Iker a lot.
“We’re competing for a place in the biggest team in the world. I demand a lot of myself and keep demanding more.
“I will always respect the Coach. He has three goalkeepers to choose from but I think Iker and I are doing well,” Lopez concluded.