OUT IN THE COLD
Many expected that Iker Casillas would be recalled as the first-team goalkeeper after the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti. Casillas was demoted to the bench last season under José Mourinho, but he has been one of the best players for Real Madrid in the last decade. He is also regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Ancelotti, though, has surprised everyone by continuing to start with Diego Lopez in the league matches. The 32-year-old has repaid the faith of the Italian by continuing to perform at an exceptional level.
He has said that he is extremely happy to be challenging for a place in the first team along with a player like Casillas. Lopez was expected to be a benchwarmer when he signed for the club a few years ago, but Mourinho used to say that the decision not to sign Lopez much earlier in his career was a big mistake. Lopez has said that he has been in touch with Casillas for more than 15 years now. He is trying his best to retain the first-team spot that was given to him by Mourinho. Casillas is still used by Ancelotti, but only in the European matches.
Lopez was recently the number one goalkeeper in the 5-1 win over Real Sociedad during the weekend.
“I’ve known Iker since I was 18, for about 14 years, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him. It’s wonderful to compete in this team with a keeper like Iker. We’re both after the spot and we both give everything we have to play. It’s the manager that decides the rotation. He decides and we have to try to do our best with it. The most important thing is to be ready every day and train your hardest,” said the 32-year-old to Real Madrid’s official website.