Spanish goalkeeper Kiko Casilla talked in an interview with MARCA about his decision to leave Real Madrid and join Leeds United during the winter transfer market. Casilla, who accepted his role as Keylor Navas’ backup during his tenure in the Spanish capital, reveals that his situation as Madrid’s third goalkeeper after Los Blancos signed Courtois wasn’t easy.
“It wasn’t easy. There was a point after the signing of Thibaut in the summer where my decision was to leave, but we didn’t reach an agreement. I then decided to stay, knowing that hard months were coming because I was the third goalkeeper and at 32 that’s not easy to accept. I had to keep working and being a part of the group, trying to stay positive. I knew it would be a difficult season,” says Casilla.
The goalkeeper is satisfied with what he achieved in Madrid, though.
“If you told me seven or eight years ago that I would play these years at Madrid, I wouldn’t have believed you. Playing in the Primera Division for Espanyol was a nice time and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me as it allowed me to sign for Madrid. You can play more, or less, but you share dressing room with players like Ramos, Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and others and it has been a privilege. You always want to play more, I think I played close to 40 games, but all in all it is positive,” added the keeper.
Casilla also spoke about his relationship with Navas, his main rival for the starting job.
“We had similar paths to Madrid, both starting in the Segunda, him with Albacete and me with Cartagena and Cadiz, then we became established in the Primera, me with Espanyol and him with Levante. Then we made the jump to a big team and we got along from the first minute, we knew that working hard would make us better and we both helped the other when it was needed,” concluded Casilla, who revealed that his worst moment wearing Real’s jersey was when the team got knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes last season.