Former Valencia and Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares has said football is going mad when a club like Real Madrid considers selling Iker Casillas.
The Los Blancos captain is subject of much speculation as Real seek to ramp up their efforts to sign David de Gea from Manchester United. And should that happen, Casillas could depart the Santiago Bernabeu after 16 years as a key member of the side.
The 34-year-old has come in for much criticism in recent seasons from Madrid supporters, who have blamed him for the goals conceded in important fixtures.
But speaking to an audience at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo de Santander, Canizares backed his fellow custodian and said Madrid fans don’t know what they’ve got until its gone.
“I think it’s a crazy situation to be talking about. We aren’t the best country at holding up our idols. Half of the supporters want Iker sold while the other half think any save he makes is incredible. And both sets of views are in a a tug-of-war.
“The only thing Iker can be accused of is playing so well that people actually miss the amazing saves they have become accustomed to. It’s something you have to accept as it happens to all players,” he said.
And he added: “When Iker retires, he’ll be appreciated more. At Valencia, they love me more than they did when I was playing. When he walks around Madrid, everyone will bow down. He’ll be Don Iker, because he’s earned it.”