Former FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi has criticized Real Madrid for not showing sufficient respect to Iker Casillas.

After a lot of speculations about Casillasa s future at Real Madrid, the 34-year-old finally signed for Porto. But this whole saga has left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone related to the Spanish club. Fans have protested about the lack of respect shown towards the veteran custodian, who has won nearly every accolade possible in the game, and now former Spanish teammate Xavi has voiced similar opinions.

“That’s why it leaves a bad taste what is happening with him now. In recent years, I have seen that he is not enjoying himself like before.

“He even seems bitter and I think everyone in this country (Spain) should think about this.

“It cannot be that maturing Spanish athletes are not shown sufficient respect, that people neglect to value everything they have done for their sport and instead focus on their defects, sometimes with malicious intent.

“I look at Iker and I have the feeling that lately he is playing under pressure, as if he has to prove what a great keeper he is in every match, without the joy he always had.

“Now he is going to Porto and I am sure he will be welcomed as a hero. Away from here they will appreciate him more.” a Xavi wrote in a column for La Vanguardia.

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The disparity between the farewell Xavi and Casillas received

Xavi, like Casillas, also left his boyhood club this summer, and signed for Al Sadd. But the midfielder received a completely contrasting send off to that of Casillas. The former Real Madrid goalkeeper, who has been at the club since the age of nine, held a press conference on Sunday, to say his farewell to the club and the fans, but surprisingly he wasna t accompanied by anyone from the club. That is quite a contrast to the farewell Xavi received at Camp Now, from fans and the club officials.

Casillasa parents later revealed to press how the Spaniard has been forced out of the club by Florentino Perez. After massive out cry from the Real Madrid supporters, Perez organized another press conference the next day, but seemed more like an action to save his face, rather than something out of respect for what Casillas has contributed to the club.

Spanish football expert Sid Lowe narrated Pereza s press conference as nothing more than a farce; a desperate attempt to justify himself.

a Instead, it was a presidential defence, an opportunity for P rez to justify himself a Madrid had helped Casillas leave, not forced him to a and to challenge the good guy/bad guy narrative. When the goalkeeper later stepped into the sunshine, without P rez, and the fans received him with cheers and the president with calls to resign, it appeared that the task may have been necessary but may not be easy.a a Sid Lowe wrote in his column for The Guardian.