independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Casillas: I'm staying at Madrid to fight for my place

Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas

REAL MADRID goalkeeper Iker Casillas says he has no intention of quitting the Spanish giants this summer despite losing his first-team spot.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho caused a stir before Christmas when he dropped long-serving club captain Casillas in favour of little-known back-up keeper Antonio Adan.

Casillas then suffered a hand injury in January, leading to Madrid signing Diego Lopez as cover, and despite the return to full fitness of the Spain skipper, he has been unable to dislodge Lopez following a string of impressive performances by the former Villarreal custodian.

With Lopez having joined Madrid on a four-and-a-half year contract, Casillas faces a fight to reclaim his place in the side, but the 31-year-old insists he is not thinking of leaving the Bernabeu.

He said after receiving an award from the City of Madrid today: "My future is at Real Madrid because I have a contract with them and because I've been there since I was nine, it's my life-long club and where I would like to be."

While Casillas is adamant he will be at Madrid next season, the future of Mourinho is much less certain with the Portuguese being closely linked with a move back to former club Chelsea.

Quizzed about Mourinho, Casillas said: "You'll have to ask him about that. I've come to collect an individual prize and what interests me is to make the Madrid fans happy, and as that can't be in the Champions League this season, then it needs to be in what's left, which is the Copa del Rey."

Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Borussia Dortmund this week and could surrender their Primera Division title to Barcelona this weekend, but they have a Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid to look forward to still.

Casillas said of their European disappointment: "With regards to the collective, everything's been said. My team-mates made their comments after the game.

"Now what we need to do is think about what's next, which is to try and get as many points as possible in the league, for the club and for the team. And then fight for the Copa del Rey, which will be a different final, nice, at the Bernabeu, and we need to try and win it for the fans, who deserve some joy."

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