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Casillas and Del Bosque laughing again

Yesterday I was in Barcelona to meet with Xavi, and we were both happy and comforted by the photo we saw over breakfast: that of Del Bosque and Casillas smiling and agreeing to let bygones be bygones. Xavi even bragged: "Two days ago in Paris I said that they'd reconcile." Just as with me, he had been surprised by the outburst. Like Puyol he thought that Del Bosque should have spoken first with Casillas, to know that he was willing to go to France as number two and, if not, he could have left him behind. He didn't and what has happened happened; we do not know exactly what.

Alfredo meets with Xavi, Monday 4th July 2016

Whatever it was, from a public opinion there wouldn't have been an issue had it not been for Del Bosque coming out and saying what he did. If Casillas was upset with being retired early by him it's totally normal and not unusual in the history of football so it surprises me that someone as nice as Del Bosque took it so badly. He also had a bad ending with Di Stéfano. Yesterday Xavi explained to me what his own reaction to Del Bosque was when he pulled him from the second game in Brazil. It has always been like this. It's difficult for a player to see himself in decline. It's almost impossible for them to accept it.

This at least opens the door to a happy ending for this era, which Joaquin Maroto has long dreamed of. A great send off, with the King Emeritus and the main players of this fabulous generation (yesterday someone thought that the Royal House may intervene in the reconcilliation).  It hurt that this could be ending with such a bad feeling between two such distinguished characters during this period. This is why Xavi, and I'm sure Puyol and many others connected with this magnificent age, celebrated the image, which can now be the final word, erasing the earlier ones. We didn't deserve such a blemish on the farewell.