Former Atletico de Madrid striker Diego Forlan has commented on the departure of ex-Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas, saying his move to Porto is a ‘step down’.
The 34-year-old keeper left the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this summer to sign a two-year deal with Julen Lopetegui’s side – bringing the curtain down on a 25-year career with the 10-time Champions League winners.
Writing in his column in The National, Forlan said Porto is a big club but not on the same level as Real. He also said former Manchester United forward Robin van Persie had made a similar step down in leaving the Red Devils for Fenerbahce.
“I have huge respect for Porto, another great club who consistently challenge for titles. They identify players, develop them and then sell them on for a profit, but let’s not pretend they’re Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s a step down for Casillas, just as Robin van Persie leaving Manchester United for Fenerbahce is also a step down,” he wrote.
He also said he disagreed with Xavi about the way in which Casillas left. The former Barcelona star was given a hero’s send off at the end of last season while Casillas seemingly exited through the back door having taken part in a press conference on his own and then appearing alongside FLorentino Perez in front of a few hundred fans at a hastily organised event.
“I can see his point, but Xavi’s departure from Barcelona last month wasn’t a normal experience.
“What would have been the reaction for Xavi had he left the previous year when Barca won nothing? It wouldn’t have been the happy exit it was this time. Casillas could have left Madrid a year ago, and walked out as a European champion.”