Michel: ‘Casillas’ last Madrid game’

Real Madrid legend Michel believes goalkeeper Iker Casillas will play his last game for Los Blancos against Getafe on Saturday.

Casillas’ days as first choice stopper at the Santiago Bernabeu appeared to be numbered, with Manchester United’s David de Gea widely expected to arrive in the summer, and Michel analysed the current situation for Cadena SER.

“I don’t know if it will be Iker’s last game but I think it will be the last one he plays for Real Madrid,” maintained Michel.

“[Boss] Carlo Ancelotti is the one who chooses the team and if Casillas is selected to play his final game at the Bernabeu it will be something.

“If you look at his career it would have been tough for him to have lasted so long at such a big club without being a key player.

“A few days ago he faced [Gianluigi] Buffon and teams want their goalkeepers to be able to play a vital role.

“De Gea has convinced me as a goalkeeper and in England his work with his feet has stood out, as well as his leadership skills.

“If he does leave United it will be a difficult gap for them to fill.”

The former midfielder, who has coached Getafe, Sevilla and Olympiacos since retirement, also spoke about Xavi Hernandez’s expected move from Barcelona to Qatar as he looks to wind down his career.

“It’s a natural outlet. Xavi isn’t going to Qatar for the good of his football but to begin a new era. He loves playing and wants to continue helping and working.

“I’m sure he’ll become a Coach one day. Everyone respects him but his physical condition does not allow him to carry on at Barcelona.

“When I retired I spent a year in Mexico and it’s a step down not being able to compete at the highest level. Back then leaving was not as easy as it is now.

“You have to embark upon a new life but even though you are approaching the end of your career you want to continue participating,” he explained.

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