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Iker Casillas Opens Up on Tumultuous Relationship with Jose Mourinho

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The former Spanish and Real Madrid captain revealed new anecdotes behind the feud in a documentary series highlighting the goalkeeper’s career

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Movistar+, a subscription platform for digital television in Spain, has produced and released a documentary series on Iker Casillas’s career called, “Colgar Las Alas” (Hang Up the Wings). The series has gone through both the high’s and low’s of the goalkeeper’s career and in the latest episode, Casillas discussed some of the difficulties behind his relationship with Jose Mourinho.

“I kept quiet a lot more than I should have done,” Casillas explained. “Should I have created a circus? No, but what I should have done is talk to Mourinho in his office — that I do regret — the fact that I kept quiet more. Mourinho assumed that I was the mole and I shut up when I shouldn’t have.”

The documentary then focused on the Super Cup Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the summer of 2011. The infamous Tito Vilanova eye-poke became a point of contention between Casillas and Mourinho. “We gave a terrible impression during those games. There were scraps, battles, giving your heart and your 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, but that is not for us,” Casillas revealed in the documentary.

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

The two managed to put aside their differences for the majority of the 2011-2012 campaign where Madrid won the league with a record number of points and goals. But the following season the relationship began to deteriorate again. Casillas described it as a “love-hate” relationship for two years:

“There were two or three games (referring to the 2012-2013 season) in which we didn’t play well,’ the 39-year-old said. “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.”

To this day, many fans still remain divided in regards to their affiliation with either Iker Casillas or Jose Mourinho. The two have managed to put behind their differences in recent years, but many supporter’s of each side still hold their grudges.