This has been another weird season for a goalkeeper that would probably start for almost every team in the world but because of Jose Mourinho and that huge ego of his has turned into a second option for Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti. Only the Italian manager isn’t “all-in” in the Iker Casillas humiliation process, giving him the chance to play in Cup matches and the Champions League.
So Casillas might be the goalkeeper who actually wins titles this season. Diego Lopez has played in every league match so far, but partially because of his dip in form, Real Madrid are second to an incredible Atletico Madrid team, that needs to lose at least four points so Real Madrid have a chance to win the championship, and they need to win all their matches as well for that to happen. Unlikely? Not out of this world, but Atletico seem too good for anyone right now, although we’ve seen plenty of changes at the top of the table so far this season.
The Champions League put Real Madrid with Bayern Munich, who haven’t looked too impressive against Manchester United and altogether since being crowned German champions for a second consecutive time. Real Madrid know how to play Guardiola’s style very well and although they aren’t favorites to win against the current Champions League title holders, this seems like too close of an encounter to actually make a decision about a firm favorite right now.
So first comes Barcelona. Real Madrid have lost twice to their huge rivals in the league this season, twice by one goal. The last time the two teams met in the cup final Casillas started, as Mourinho decided to forget about tradition and use his regular goalkeeper because he wanted to beat Barcelona that badly. Cristiano Ronaldo scored, but just like most Barcelona – Real Marid matches over the last five seasons, Barca were the better team and Casillas’ ability made a lot of difference.
Pepe Reina was filmed telling Casillas that it’s time to go. Casillas can’t see himself playing for anyone else. The fans are obviously behind him, and it’s hard to believe a dressing room with international Spanish players doesn’t have his back, as difficult as the situation has been with Lopez. He’s a good goalkeeper, but he isn’t Casillas, and as the old saying goes, form can’t compare with class, and there isn’t a higher class than the one Casillas is in.
Still, the rumors will be flying from about every direction when this season is over. If there wasn’t a transfer ban on Barcelona, Casillas would have been linked with the Camp Nou, no matter how unlikely that may seem. MLS, Serie A, Premier League. It’s all going to be thrown out there. Maybe Casillas realizes his future is elsewhere, despite his glorious past with the only club he has ever played for. Writing one final chapter with a win over Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final isn’t a bad way to leave.