Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has lifted the lid on the breakdown of the relationship between him and Jose Mourinho in the ex-manager’s last season at the club.
The Portuguese boss dropped Casillas mid-way through the 2012-13 campaign in favour of Diego Lopez, and much of his decision stemmed from the fact he thought the club captain was the source of the dressing room leak to the media – Casillas’ partner is famous sports journalist Sara Carbonero.
Having kept quiet about the situation when he was at the club, Casillas has now revealed what the atmosphere was like and the reason why the relationship broke down.
Hold told RTVE that it began when Casillas spoke to Xavi and Carlos Puyol to try and smooth relations over between Madrid and Barcelona after some Clasico games became very intense and threatened to damage the image of Spanish football in general.
“It didn’t sit well with him that I spoke with someone from Barcelona to ease the tension in the national team. I spoke with Xavi and Puyol. But the words that we used were not ‘listen, forgive me’. That was what a journalist told Mourinho. What I said to Xavi was ‘look, as we keep going like this, we’re marking Spanish football with the image we give with two teams like Madrid and Barca. I don’t talk about the players from other nationalities but the Spanish have a European Championship’,” he commented.
He then went into detail about when he was dropped and how that experience was.
“Then came my injury in January. After that, all I hear about me is crap, crap and more crap. The only thing I wanted was for my hand to recover, to get back to being with the group and competing, but my place had already been occupied by another person – in this case it was Diego Lopez, who was doing well,” he stated.
And he continued: “The boss thought it right that he should play and I couldn’t say anything. But then there were the gestures in the press conferences and the things he did. I saw I was being talked about non-stop, those who support you and those who don’t. I tried to make sure it didn’t affect me, but it was constant, every day.
“There was a war between ‘Mourinhoistas’ and ‘Casillistas’ when I still hadn’t spoken. Then they tell me ‘you don’t speak because you use others to speak for you’. Are we crazy? Do people not have their own judgment, their own opinion? I had spoken with him many times, but the last year we didn’t speak at all. It was an ugly situation. And I think that what I did was for the best.”