Jose Mourinho and Iker Casillas have maintained a personal confrontation this season that has become more evident after Real’s elimination from the Champions League, when the manager publicly attacked his captain without mentioning him directly.
Madrid’s boss is resentful of the goalkeeper because he has very good relationships with two of his main enemies: Barcelona players and Madrid journalists. The fact that Casillas hasn’t supported him in certain Mourinho complaints about referees or the media critics to the team have made the Portuguese angry.
Madrid press blames the manager completely for his confrontation with the captain. But the truth is Casillas is not entirely innocent.
His good relationship with the media –his girlfriend is an important Spanish sports journalist– has helped him look as the victim in this conflict. However, some might argue that his friends in the press exaggerated the fact that a goalkeeper whose performances were up to the high standards expected of him spent a few matches on the bench.
Casillas has probably had his worst season at Real, and Mourinho knew the best way to keep him on his toes was to let him know that he wasn’t untouchable, taking him out of the starting eleven.
The aggressive reaction of the journalists against the Portuguese helped increase the conflict. And when Diego Lopez arrived, performed brilliantly and kept Casillas as a substitute, the media kept on insisting it was just a tantrum of Mourinho.
It’s obvious that Mourinho kept certain rancour against Casillas, but it is not that senseless to keep a player on the bench when other one is performing better, even if that player is the best goalkeeper in the world.
Luckily for the club, Mourinho will presumably leave this summer and the peace will return to Santiago Bernabeu.