Spain No 1 Iker Casillas was revered as a saint after his heroics in Porto’s 2-1 Classico victory over Benfica on Friday.
Casillas had come under fire in recent weeks, most notably making an error which consigned Porto to defeat at Vitoria Guimaraes in January, but he made a number of important saves at Estadio La Luz – the stadium where he lifted La Decima with Real Madrid in 2014.
“We suffered more than usually, but it’s true, even after suffering, I like to win. It’s a pitch which brings back good memories,” he said after the game.
“Coming back from behind comforts us a lot. It’s clear that we now see [the title race] differently.
“We’ll be there fighting. We have to keep working with the same humility.”
His’ performance led to Marca hailing Casillas – who remains La Roja’s first-choice shot-stopper ahead of Euro 2016 – as ‘O Santo’, the Portuguese equivalent of his nickname ‘San Iker’, while Benfica Coach Rui Vitoria felt the 34-year-old was “decisive”.
Porto, meanwhile, are now only three points behind the Eagles, who could lose their lead in the Portuguese Liga table to Sporting CP on Saturday, the capital club possessing a game in hand over both their rivals.