Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla says his appearance in the UEFA Super Cup would signify the culmination of a childhood dream.
With Keylor Navas still recovering from an Achilles injury, the number two is set to start in Trondheim as Zinedine Zidane’s men take on Sevilla for the first continental silverware of 2016-17.
Casilla watched from the substitutes’ bench as Madrid won the Champions League final against city rivals Atletico in May and is delighted to be given the chance to start in a European showpiece event.
“Playing in the European Super Cup is a dream,” the former Espanyol keeper told Mahou.
“I’m lucky to have come through the academy at Real Madrid and I remember that when I got here at 14 years of age and stopped next to the Bernabeu, I said that I hoped to one day play here.
“I have been lucky to be able to do that and now I have got the opportunity to play an important European game, a final. It’s been a dream since I was young.
“Starting with a win in the European Super Cup gives you a boost and increases optimism – that will be useful during the season. Everything that Real Madrid play for we must try to win.
“This year we are playing in a lot of competitions and we’re going to go for all of them. It will be difficult, but we have to go for everything.
“When there are Spanish teams taking part in European competitions it signals that LaLiga is in good health and I hope it stays like this for many years. The national side have also done their bit by winning European Championships and the World Cup.”
Casilla revealed that Zidane has made it clear he expects more success from Madrid’s players in the new campaign.
The 29-year-old added: “Everyone knows what he was as a footballer, the best in the world. I was lucky to be able to train with him when I was in the academy and he gave me one of his boots.
“Now as a coach he tries to have his own philosophy and he’s doing very well. Last year he showed what he can do. This year he wants more and he’s going to demand more from us.”