Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez has said he never had a problem with Iker Casillas and the pair got on well during their time together at the club.
Lopez moved to AC Milan in the summer after spending 18 months at the Santiago Bernabeu and playing largely as the number one goalkeeper, with club captain Casillas restricted to roles in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
Throughout his time at the club, there was much debate in the press and among Madridistas about who should be the number one. There was also talk about a bitter rivalry between the pair.
The opposite was true, according to Lopez, who has known Casillas since the age of 19 when they were playing for the Madrid youth teams.
The now 32-year-old told Telecinco while the pair were rivals for the first team spot, they got on fine away from the training ground.
“It’s very important to look at what you have around you at that age, and especially with Iker around, to learn from him. I went to Real Madrid because I believed I could be more than a second-string goalkeeper at that time,” he said.
And he added: “The people were not conceiving another person in the place of Iker Casillas. During my time at Real Madrid, I showed what could be achieved by working hard and competing for a spot you want, in the eyes of the manager.”
“I never have any problems with Iker, we had known each other for a while before I returned to Real Madrid. There’s no doubt that it was a tussle for the jersey on the pitch, but outside of football everything was normal between us.”