Santos Marquez, the agent of Iker Casillas has blasted Real Madrid for the way the club handled the exit of club’s iconic Spaniard, calling it a “disaster”.
Casillas left the Santiago Bernabeu to sign for Portuguese runners-up FC Porto, following months of speculation regarding the future of the Spanish shot-stopper. Casillas had been at the club for 25 years now, having been part of the first team, mostly as No. 1 for 17 years.
However, the decorated keeper, had a torrid time in between the posts, ever since he was first dropped under then manager Jose Mourinho, back in 2012. The three-time Champions League winner, had also been boo-ed by a section of Los Blancos fans, after some shaky performances last season.
“His exit had been agreed behind his back.” – Santos Marquez
The Santiago Bernabeu outfit have maintained that it was Casillas who had orchestrated a move to FC Porto, however, his lawyer and agent, Santos Marquez, in a recent interview, claimed that this in fact was not the case, and that the legendary keeper had been pushed out of the club, while new manager Rafa Benitez had thwarted their attempts to discuss the future of the 34-year-old. He further insisted that the 34-year-old never wanted to leave the Los Blancos.
“Casillas never decided to jump ship and leave Madrid. He was pushed,” Marquez said .
“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.”
A love-affair gone sour?
Real Madrid, who have a history of pushing out club legend’s (read: Raul) in the Twilight of their career, will be winning no fans here with their latest handling of the Iker Casillas saga.
The Madrid club, hastily organized a farewell ceremony for the goalkeeper, who had spent 25 years at the club, and certainly deserved a better send-off than the one he received. However, with Casillas’ huge dip in form over the last couple of season, Real Madrid’s stance to replace him with a younger, more agile and assured goalkeeper could have been understood.
However, it does not excuse the club’s pathetic handling of the situation, with President Florentino Perez caught on the camera, during the farewell of Casillas, saying, that the 34-year-old wanted to leave because he’d had a gut full. The club’s decision to leave Casillas alone in the press room, with only a brief statement confirming his exit had faced universal criticism from Pundits, fans and players alike, and is believed to be the reason behind the ceremony, arranged less than 24 hours after this incident.