Santoz Marquez, agent of goalkeeper Iker Casillas, has claimed that his client was forced to leave Real Madrid, stating the exit to Porto as a disaster. Xavi Hernandez, who left Barcelona this summer and has been a long time Spain team-mate and friend of Casillas, has also criticised Madrid.
Just few days before the farewell ceremony, Casillas was left in the press room alone where he read an exit statement. Madrid were heavily criticised for this treatment of the 34-year-old goalkeeper. On the farewell ceremony arranged for Casillas, Blancos president Florentino Perez revealed that Casillas left Madrid because he wanted a new challenge, and had achieved all that he could at Madrid. “He wanted to leave because he’d had a gut full,” Perez said on the ceremony.
But despite these claims from the club president, Marquez has blasted Madrid for the ill-treatment Casillas was given at the club, and also blamed new coach Rafael Benitez for the move.
“Casillas never decided to jump ship and leave Madrid. He was pushed,” Marquez told Marca and Cope. “Casillas did not ask to leave, he has been annoyed and everything about his exit had been agreed behind his back. He has to go, so he accepts that, but at no point did Casillas want to leave.”
“One factor was the whistles he received from the Bernabeu, but another is the support from the club. He has never felt defended. Nobody – including Florentino – from the club said ‘I will sit with Iker Casillas and I will defend him to the death’. That never happened. Benitez has played hide-and-seek, he let me down. We were hoping to talk to the coach. It has not been fair to Iker, it hasn’t been the exit he deserves – it’s been a disaster.”
Former Barca player Xavi has also blasted at Madrid for the way they have treated his friend, saying that Casillas’ manner of exit made him sad and angry. “It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” the Al-Sadd midfielder told RAC1. “I wrote a letter stating my opinion. He didn’t deserve such a tepid send-off; he deserved more.”
“They held a tribute for him but he looked sad. It makes me feel sad and angry that his farewell was like that. Maybe last year the same would’ve happened to me. I left in the best way possible but Madrid didn’t lift any trophies. Nevertheless, he deserved more.”
Casillas won five league titles and three Champions League titles, including La Decima in 2013-14, in his 25 years of service at Real Madrid.