Iker Casillas reflects on Rafa Benitez’s spell as Real Madrid Coach by admitting it is a ‘difficult’ club and he hasn’t spoken to Florentino Perez since leaving.
Casillas departed Santiago Bernabeu for Porto last summer after spending his entire career with Los Blancos, and considered what it takes to be No 1 for Madrid and Spain.
“You have to have something special to be goalkeeper for Madrid or the national team,” he told El Laguero, AS reports.
“They ask that you win trophies. If you don’t, then each player’s performance is analysed. It’s the same with Spain. We have to win trophies and now, to not to it is a problem.
“Before, drawing with Italy was very good. Now it’s a disaster. There are people accustomed to what we have done, but that’s not real. It’s very difficult to repeat.”
Casillas was asked how he views Madrid from afar, particularly with the Clasico to come this weekend, and with Benitez’s failed tenure in mind too.
“How do I see them? It looks like…a very hard stage. Their rivals are going well in all competitions and Madrid is the worst in the League,” he admitted.
“There are options in the Champions League. I hope they go through to the semi-final. It could be a very nice semi-final.
“It’s a difficult club. It’s not good when a Coach leaves. The decision is taken in the search for what is best. I feel sorry for Rafa.
“I spoke with him in Madrid. He didn’t suggest I wasn’t going to play and he knew I was talking to the club about leaving. He was worried about me. I spoke to him recently, shared memories.
“I haven’t spoken to [Madrid President] Perez since I left. A tribute? It doesn’t depend on me. It depends on what Madrid and Porto do until the end of the season and the dates. It’s hard to find a date that’s good for everyone.
“If I look at the Clasico as a player, it’s not as important for Barca. The draw is worthy to them to decide the League. They could focus on the Champions League.
“If Madrid win they cut the gap. It’s difficult. Madrid have to go for everything and win.
“My time at Madrid has passed. I see it as a fan. I’d like them to win but I don’t look beyond that.
“Keylor Navas is doing really well. Enjoy it and do it right.”