Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed he was not responsible for Iker Casillas’ exit after 25 years at the club.
In an interview with Spanish radio station COPE, Perez responded to those who criticized the goalkeeper’s departure.
“I didn’t kick him out. Had it been in my hands, he would have ended his career at Real Madrid. He had an offer from Porto we didn’t know about. He asked for help to leave, because he had been under a lot of pressure for the past two years.”
Perez also denied that they had paid Casillas to get rid of him: “We didn’t pay the two remaining years of his contract. It is a complex matter. There was a difference and it was solved with his fiscal situation. I have always stood up for him.”
Asked about the rumours of Gareth Bale’s exit, Perez denied there is any truth to them. “He is a Madridista since he was a kid, he wants to triumph at Real Madrid and he has great faith in himself. Why would he leave Madrid had Ancelotti stayed? I’m sure he would have remained the same.”
Finally, the Los Merengues president praised his new manager Rafa Benitez: “He is the best coach I have ever had.”