Benitez respects Casillas decision

Real Madrid Coach Rafa Benitez respects the decision of legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas to leave the club.

The 34-year-old has this week ended a 25-year association with Los Blancos by joining Portuguese team Porto.

Speaking to the Bernabeu club’s official website while on his team’s pre-season tour of Australia, the former Napoli boss paid tribute to Casillas, describing him as the best goalkeeper in Madrid’s history.

“Iker is a living legend and the best goalkeeper in the history of the club,” Benitez began. “We all know how important he has always been.

“He took the decision to go to another team and leave. As Coach I have to respect that decision and I need to wish him all the luck in the world.

“I think he will stay in the heart of all Madridistas and from now I wish him success, that everything goes well for him and that he enjoys a great club and great city like Porto is.”

Benitez also expressed his pleasure at having the chance to work with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He is a key player for us. The fact he is here with all the group is a great satisfaction. Knowing him and starting to talk about the things I think and that he thinks will allow us to improve in terms of the dynamic of the group.”

Finally, the 55-year-old said he is pleased with the conditions that his team are training in Down Under.

“Pre-seasons are to work, get to know each other and the conditions are good. The fact it isn’t too hot like in other places means you can work well.

“It helps a lot that the pitch is in the right shape to move the ball around and the intensity with which we want to do things.”

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