Iker Casillas recalls his relationship at Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho, and how it ‘began to change in the second season…’
Casillas, who also called on Madrid to recognise the contribution of Vicente Del Bosque over 30 years, confirmed he was pleased the Portuguese was hired in 2011.
“Whenever the club got a new Coach I felt great. I wasn’t captain at the time, that was Raul,” Casillas noted in an interview, AS reports.
“The relationship was always good at the start, he’d eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League semi-finals. He was the antidote. We had the bonus of starting to compete with the big boys in Europe.
“The first year when he went to a Press conference and defended Madrid, he did just fine. Someone had to assume that role and he faced up when we were wounded.”
Casillas admits the relationship began to change when Mourinho took issue with the goalkeeper’s friendship with international teammates from Barcelona.
“It started to change in the second season. Barcelona started strong and things happened in the Supercopa de Espana, with Tito Vilanova,” Casillas acknowledged, when Mourinho poked the late Vilanova in the eye during a touchline scuffle.
“Everyone can believe what they want. I have a club I owe but I also have a national team. There were moments when there was a lot of friction between Madrid and Barca.
“It was a hard year, but the relationship continued to be a good one. We talked when we had problems.
“Everything changed when the team didn’t do well in 2012-13. When things go wrong they say you’re not what you were.
“Maybe it didn’t sit well that I spoke with someone from Barcelona to diffuse the tension. I spoke to Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol. There were no words of forgiveness.
“I said we were going to burden Spanish football and it needed to be smoothed over.”