Saturday, 19 December 2020

Why there was a love-hate relationship between me and Mourinho - Iker Casillas

Why there was a love-hate relationship between me and Mourinho - Iker Casillas

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper and club legend Iker Casillas has opened up on why there was an astringent relationship between him and now Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho during his time in Real Madrid.

Recall there were reports of serious misunderstanding between Mourinho and Casillas in 2012 after an incident in the game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in which Mourinho poked then Barcelona manager's eye Tito Vilanova a year before.

This incident did not sit well with Casillas and he questioned Mourinho on his action which led to more problems between coach and manager. Iker Casillas has now opened up on the incident in a Movistar+ documentary and also revealed how the players reacted to the incident.

"There was a players' strike in August 2011,” Casillas explained

“As the captain, I spoke to my team-mates and we decided that we weren't going to play which meant the opening games of the season wouldn't go ahead. We said a couple of things that neither of us liked and took badly but it was left there. Then came the Super Cup.

“We gave a terrible impression. There were scraps, battles, giving your heart and soul… but the other things (poking Vilanova’s eye) - that was the kind of thing you might see at other clubs - tacky clubs, who need to resort to that sort of thing, and that is not for us.

"We played Levante, a game in which we fell further behind to Barcelona. That was the moment when we stopped talking. We were alone together in a room and he starts telling me that I should be more open and honest.

“I told him that I didn't think it was right for a professional to poke another coach in the eye. Someone from the press department at the club grabbed us and told us to calm down, to talk it through. We sat down again and said what we had to say face to face.

"There were two or three games [in 2012-13] in which we didn't play well. That was when the old resentment resurfaced, when we fell behind in the table. Our relationship deteriorated. It had reached the point of no return by the third year.

“Up until the second year it was a love-hate relationship. He told me he didn't think I was focused, he didn't think I was playing well… I thought that maybe it was true. I had other things on my mind that I was worried about at the time.”

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