A keeper that has won nearly every trophy available. 2 Champions League titles, 5 La Liga titles, a World Cup, two European Championships, and a host of winners medals litter his trophy case. However, for the end of last season and the beginning of this one, Iker Casillas is being treated as the second best keeper at his club and enjoying serious time on the bench. Why is Casillas, arguably one of the top three keepers in the world, spending time off of the pitch for Real Madrid?
Firstly, have any of you ever seen a hockey game? If a goalie is hot and is keeping all of the goals out of the back of the net, the coach sticks with him through any type of controversy. If a keeper is getting scored on, the coach switches keepers as quickly as a line change will allow. Ancelotti seems to be following that principal at Madrid. Diego Lopez, although I still do not see a keeper on the level of Casillas, has been keeping Madrid in most of their games. Although Casillas may have a better relationship with his back four, Ancelotti may be worried that he will upset the balance that he has going for him.
Second, Casillas may be involved in some type of transfer. Barcelona are still looking for a Valdes replacement and Casillas and Xavi have always been best friends on and off the pitch. If Madrid and Ancelotti know that Casillas is not planning on staying with the club for much longer, he may be saving the club a bit of heartache and a bit of difficulty switching around behind his back-line. Jose Mourniho would also probably snag a little reprieve if the world found out that Casillas had been flirting with another club for a while.
Casillas was seen as the best keeper in the world after the 2010 World Cup and he has remained close to the top to this day. If Casillas remains on the bench until January, the vultures will start to circle. If Casillas sits until the next summer transfer window, there is little doubt that his time at Madrid has ended. There is too much talent for Spain’s #1 to be sitting for long…every other club in Europe will be hoping that Iker starts surveying a few likely landing spots. One thing is certain, there is no other player with the talent level for his position like Casillas warming a bench in Europe.