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Iker Casillas On The Bench Again

The whole Spanish press is spreading rumors about Casillas' potential departure this winter. Casillas has a tough decision to make. Does he want to play the World Cup with Spain more than staying in his club?

Denis Doyle

Iker Casillas has always been playing for Real Madrid. From the academy to the first team, the goalkeeper has always defended Real Madrid's white shirt. But now, for the first time in his career, he might be considering a way out of the club to play the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Spain. He knows that if he stays on Real Madrid's bench, Vicente del Bosque will probably have to choose Victor Valdés as his goalkeeper.

One way or another, Iker Casillas' friends in the Spanish press like Manolo Lama or Julio Pulido are already 'threating' the club, Ancelotti and the fans with a potential departure. Is this a way of putting pressure to Carlo Ancelotti? Is there any truth behind those rumors?

Even if those rumors don't come from Iker Casillas' mouth, the goalkeeper is not behaving well in this situation. He should and could easily go public and say he is willing to give it all in the training sessions to recover his spot and play for the club he loves. Instead, he's allowing all sort of speculation that is not helping his colleague Diego López (and therefore his club) at all.

But maybe Casillas has already made his choice. Maybe he prefers to play for the Spanish National Team than trying to recover his Real Madrid status. If that's so, he should also stop the speculation by telling his friends to stop the rumors. Ancelotti's situation is quite unfair after just two games in the season. The Italian coach arrived to Madrid with clear eyes and decided to start Diego López. Every Real Madrid fan and player should respect that decision. While some thought that Mourinho's personal problems with Casillas had something to do with the decision to bench him, Carlo Ancelotti has no reasons to do that. Ancelotti wants to win his first games as Real Madrid's coach and he seems to believe that Diego López is the goalkeeper that gives him the better odds.

If Casillas is not ready to fight for the spot without this turmoil that his entourage is creating, then it might be better for him to prove his value in another club. We cannot be having a debate about Real's goalkeeper every week. Diego López appears to be Ancelotti's keeper so far and the fans need to respect that.

Álvaro Arbeloa, usually the voice of reason in that dressing room, said the following just after the game concluded:

I want to send a message to the 'madridismo'. We need to stay together. I understand they support Casillas, because I also do, but we're professionals and the fans have to support Real Madrid's goalkeeper, whether that's Casillas or López. We have a lot of enemies and we cannot afford to fight against ourselves. Iker is our captain and it is normal that such decision has a big impact, but we fully respect Ancelotti's decision inside the dressing room. No matter who plays.

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