Xavi slams Mourinho treatment of Casillas
Barcelona midfielder Xavi has accused Real Madrid manager of treating his international team-mate Iker Casillas as “deadwood”.
Casillas has not figured for Real since January when he fractured his hand in a game against Valencia, making just 29 appearances in all competitions this season and playing second fiddle to former Villarreal and Sevilla keeper Diego Lopez.
33-year-old Xavi has won two UEFA European Championships and a FIFA World Cup under the captaincy of Casillas in the Spain national team, and was eager to criticise Mourinho’s decision to drop the stopper from his side.
“In September, they were touting him for the Ballon d’Or. Now it’s like he’s dead wood,” Xavi said.
The Real boss’ handling of his relationship with Casillas has been vilified by a number of figures within the Spanish game, including Xavi’s Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and Madrid defender Pepe.
The dispute between Mourinho and Casillas has reportedly led to much discontent within the Real set-up, with the Portuguese said to have clashed with Sergio Ramos and a clutch of playing staff and club directors.
Real became the first team to win the league with 100 points in a single season last term, but have struggled to replicate that form this time out, losing the title to Barcelona and suffering another semi-final defeat in the UEFA Champions League as they were knocked out by German outfit Borussia Dortmund.
Mourinho’s men did win the Spanish Super Cup by beating Barcelona on away goals in August, and could clinch more silverware when they face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Friday.
Thu 16 May, 2013