Casillas plays straight bat

Iker Casillas has played down his controversial omission from Real Madrid's line-up against Malaga.

Last Updated: 23/12/12 at 19:47 Post Comment

Iker Casillas: Accepts Mourinho's decision

Iker Casillas: Accepts Mourinho's decision

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Iker Casillas has played down his controversial omission from Real Madrid's line-up against Malaga, insisting he must accept coach Jose Mourinho's decision and focus on regaining his starting berth.

Mourinho caused a major stir after choosing to start with back-up goalkeeper Antonio Adan for the Primera Division clash at La Rosaleda in place of captain and long-serving number one Casillas.

Mourinho said after the match, which Madrid lost 3-2 to slump 16 points behind leaders Barcelona, that his decision was "purely technical".

Speaking ahead of a charity match in Madrid, Casillas told La Sexta television: "The coach decides which team he thinks is best for each match and you need to accept the decision.

"I'm not used to being a substitute, but above Iker Casillas or any player is the team. What I need to do is continue training and try to recover the confidence of the coach."

Casillas, who has won a host of titles with Madrid and captained Spain to the World Cup and back-to-back European Championships, added: "I feel good, but it is the coach who decides who plays. It will be a nice battle with Antonio. There is a healthy rivalry between us.

"Throughout the week I could sense that I wasn't going to play but it's not a setback. The important thing was that the team won in Malaga to cut the gap to Barca and Atletico.

"Mourinho didn't explain anything to me. He doesn't do it when I play, nor when I don't."

Mourinho, meanwhile, insists he does not regret dropping Casillas for the match.

Speaking after arriving at Lisbon airport today, the Portuguese was quoted as saying by AS newspaper: "Casillas? I have a clear conscience. I try to choose the best team for every game."

The loss to Malaga was Madrid's seventh of the season in all competitions, which is already more than they suffered in the whole of the last campaign and has seen the pressure build on coach Mourinho.

The former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss was defiant following the game when answering questions about his future, insisting he had no intention of quitting Madrid and did not fear for his job.

However, he does feel the gap to Barca is now insurmountable.

Madrid defender Sergio Ramos also concedes their title is now virtually lost but has demanded the team keep on fighting.

"Once again we have dropped important points, despite the team playing well in the first half, in which we had chances to score but we didn't have any luck," Ramos said on the Madrid website.

"We shouldn't think about the league leaders or anybody else. We should only think about ourselves.

"We must be self-critical and La Liga is now very difficult, practically impossible, but we need to keep on fighting.

"When we lose many conclusions are drawn, but it is when we must use our heads the most."

Regarding Mourinho's decision to omit Casillas, Ramos added: "Iker is the captain and he will continue to be the captain because he is a great goalkeeper."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba set to sign five-year contract until 2020

Jordi Alba is set to sign a new five-year contract with Barcelona, the club have announced.

Arsenal in talks with Higuain - Report

Arsenal have begun talks with Napoli striker Gonzalo Higauin with an aim to bringing the Argentine to north London, according to reports in Italy.

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Mail Box

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company