Del Bosque believes Casillas victim of Real and Barca rivalry
Iker Casillas was the center of a whirlpool of controversy at Real Madrid last season. The shot-stopper was demoted from being the No. 1 choice at the club by Jose Mourinho, a saga that continues to confound everyone. However, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes the former Bernabeu boss Mourinho benched Casillas simply because the goalkeeper wanted peace.
Del Bosque believes Casillas wants to ease tensions between Barcelona and Real Madrid players since the majority of the first-team from both sides play for Spain. Del Bosque decided to rejuvenate Casillas’ career by giving him his old spot between the sticks, but luck hasn’t followed him to Real Madrid yet.
Mourinho is long gone, but his successor Carlo Ancelotti has decided to opt for Diego Lopez for goalkeeping duties instead of Casillas. Del Bosque believes Casillas became victim of the confrontations and enmity between Real Madrid and Barcelona. However, Ancelotti claims his decision has been made with insight over form.
“It's true that in difficult moments for the national team, when the Real-Barca matches got a little strange, he helped the team to move on and continue winning things like the European Championship [in 2012]," the Spain coach told the Onda Cero radio station.
“This did not go down well, and perhaps had a detrimental effect also on Iker. He was a key figure in fostering harmony in the national team.”
El Clasicos (matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid) are turning into bitter competitions as of late. The matches portray an unprecedented amount of hatred between players. Real Madrid players Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso and Barcelona players Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Carles Puyol play in the Spain national team, which is why unity in very important.
Unfortunately, the intense rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid has engulfed players from both sides. Del Bosque believes strong steps must be taken to remove such hatred from the hearts of both sides. The Spanish coach hailed Casillas for his dream and hopes he soon recovers on all fronts.