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Mourinho: Lopez could remain Madrid number one

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho says Iker Casillas could find it hard to displace Diego Lopez upon his comeback from injury.

The winter arrival, signed in response to Casillas’ bone fracture in January, has surpassed expectations in the skipper’s absence, putting in a series of assured performances for the club.

And Mourinho’s acknowledgement of Lopez’s form has placed the Madrid captain’s squad status in doubt.

“We must be honest. The way Diego is playing, it will be very hard to get him out of the net,” he said.

“I cannot say for certain that he will be stay there till the end of the season, but he is playing very well. For now, it will be difficult for Casillas to be on the bench against Galatasaray, but he will surely be there for Levante.”

The Spanish champions drew 1-1 against Zaragoza on Saturday after Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out Rodri’s early opener, prompting Mourinho to lament his team’s scoring touch deserting them this season.

“It is true that all our players except Ronaldo have scored less goals this season, and therefore the team suffers,” the 50-year-old said.

“But I believe they will come, if not this season, then the next. It is not a matter of winning the league now, but to secure second place.

“Our goals remain the same; to progress to the Copa del Rey final and beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League.”

Madrid host Galatasaray in Europe’s premier club competition on Wednesday.

Sun 31 March, 2013
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