Iker Casillas

Update: If anyone was wondering why Real Madrid looked so bad for so many minutes in the loss, it just might have to do with the tactics of Carlo Ancelotti, and not just the form of Gareth Bale and the ineptitude of Alvaro Arbeloa. Not a 4-3-3, but more like a 4-4-1 with another striker on top of the 1, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were planned to bother each other?

Real Madrid tactics

It was hard to tell that Real Madrid actually made it through to the quarterfinals after their 4-3 loss to Schalke at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Iker Casillas forced his teammates to stay on the pitch and face the wrath of the fans, while Cristiano Ronaldo spent most of the time, aside from scoring goals, being angry at the world.

Casillas is no longer a World Class goalkeeper, but he is a Spanish and Real Madrid icon. A captain and leader. He might be the one to blame for at least one of the four goals he conceded in the second leg loss to Schalke which meant Real Madrid barely go through with a 5-4 aggregate win, but he was also the one who made two crucial saves in the final two minutes and prevented an even bigger disaster.

The Real Madrid fans came to vent their frustration at their team playing badly in 2015 and losing the top spot in the La Liga to Barcelona. With Schalke taking the lead twice in the first half, it just meant more boos and jeers from fans that are fed up with the level of play displayed from a team of superstars that ran rampant against everyone for the first few months of the season. If it wasn’t for Cristiano Ronaldo and his two headers, who knows how bad it would have turned out to be?

In the 52nd minute, when Karim Benzema scored the third goal, it seemed over. Schalke weren’t going to score three goals in 38 minutes, were they? Well, they came very close to that. Introducing Luka Modric didn’t bring order to the Real Madrid play. Instead, just more mayhem and panic, as players actually wasted time and dove at every possible chance to eat away at the clock, which further infuriated the fans that don’t like seeing their team win that way. Jose Mourinho was driven out for a few reasons. Style and perception were two of them.

Casillas, after already conceding a fourth goal, made two saves as Schalke put in a few long range efforts to try and pull off a miracle and the huge upset. At the end of the match, with players trying to flee towards the dressing room, the Real Madrid captain urged them to stay and face the music. It’s not quite clear what good it would do, but at least someone is holding the players accountable.

And Ronaldo? He couldn’t stop swearing after scoring his first goal, venting out frustration. In the final minutes of the match he’s seen mumbling to Karim Benzema ‘qué vergüenza, qué vergüenza‘ which is along the lines of ‘what a shame’. It’s not clear if he’s talking about Real Madrid’s performance or the fans booing them. Either way, he has vowed (and not for the first time) to not speak to the media until the end of the season. If he thinks that is what will help him and his team win titles, why not?

Image: Source