The agent of former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has hit out at the club and called the way they handled his departure a ‘disaster’.
Santos Marquez to Marca and Cope that his client never wanted to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, unlike what the club says, but that he realised he had to go as he would never get any support from the Real Madrid hierarchy.
The 34-year-old signed a two-year deal with Porto this week, bring an end to a glorious and trophy-laden 25 years in the Spanish capital.
On Sunday, the World Cup winner broke down in tears in front of journalists as he said goodbye at a press conference in which no member of the Real board was present. Then, in a hastily organised event, he appeared with Florentino Perez on Monday once again at the stadium to wave to a few hundred fans who chanted his name and called on the president to resign.
Marquez said: “Casillas never decided to jump ship and leave Madrid. He was pushed. Casillas did not ask to leave, he has been annoyed and everything about his exit had been agreed behind his back. He has to go, so he accepts that, but at no point did Casillas want to leave.”
He added: “One factor was the whistles he received from the Bernabeu, but another is the [lack of] support from the club. He has never felt defended. Nobody – including Florentino – from the club said ‘I will sit with Iker Casillas and I will defend him to the death’. That never happened. Benitez has played hide-and-seek, he let me down. We were hoping to talk to the coach. It has not been fair to Iker, it hasn’t been the exit he deserves – it’s been a disaster.”