Iker Casillas has revealed he did not speak with Jose Mourinho during his final year at Real Madrid – a time he described as “war” between their respective supporters.
The veteran Spain goalkeeper endured a bitter relationship with the former coach after he was dropped during the 2012-13 season and subsequently lost his place permanently to Diego Lopez following an injury to his hand.
Casillas has admitted in the past that he felt “isolated” during Mourinho’s turbulent final few months at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to his departure and return to Chelsea at the end of the season, though he refused to speak publicly about the issue at the time.
And the 34-year-old, now with Porto, has described the extent to which his relationship with the Portuguese coach deteriorated, beginning with his efforts to smooth over bad blood with some of Barcelona’s Spanish stars following some ugly Clasico encounters and culminating in arguments between supporters on either side of the dispute.
He explained to RTVE: “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 [Carles] 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 continued: “The year started as normal in January and Mourinho thought there was a team-mate who was better than me, in Antonio Adan, who is phenomenal and a great kid, and he puts him in.
“I can’t say anything to him, because he’s the coach, he puts in who he wants. Then there are opinions…
“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.
“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 [Mourinho] 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.”
Casillas admitted he felt his time was already drawing to a close before he enjoyed Champions League success under Carlo Ancelotti, who succeeded Mourinho prior to the 2013-14 season, yet he insists he has no regrets over his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“My situation was already flawed. When Ancelotti arrived he made decisions but I didn’t feel good on a personal level, because what I wanted was to play and compete,” he said.
“What’s clear is that my name will always be linked to the history of Madrid for the games I played. One era ends and another begins. I have no unfinished business.
“I was not the first, nor will I be the last.”