Casillas opens up about claims that he was the mole at Real Madrid
In the fifth episode of Movistar+'s Iker Casillas documentary 'Colgar las Alas', the goalkeeper spoke about his relationship with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
So far in the Movistar+ documentary about his career, Iker Casillas has spoken about his heart attack, the competitive rivalry he had with César for the goalkeeper's position at Real Madrid and this week, in the fifth and latest episode of Colgar las Alas (Hanging up the wings) he recalled one of the most intense periods of Spanish football in recent history - José Mourinho's time at Real Madrid. Casillas spoke about his disputes with Mou, the bitter rivalry with Barcelona which sank to new lows in the Clásicos and being accused of leaking inside information to the press.
Tension in El Clásico: "It was a battle between both teams to see who was the better side. It was a very tense time - way too tense. There was a little bit of everything going on, not politics as such, but almost. We were not prepared to go though those games like that. We felt that we could not reach Barcelona's level. We had to go through the Champions League triumph in 2006, 2009, 2012, the 2-6, them winning the Sextuple which caused us a lot of damage… at least Mou's Inter knocked them out of the semis in 2010 - for us, that felt like a relief".
Copa de Rey final in 2011: "There was even more aggression than before. Sometimes I watch that game and I'm shocked at how aggressive it is. When we saw Barça surrounding the ref every time there was a foul, we thought we may as well do the same. We couldn't be courteous with them. That final was important in cementing Barcelona's reputation at that time".
The moment when nerves started to get frayed: "There was a players' strike in August 2011. As the captain, I spoke to my team mates and we decided that we weren't going to play which meant the opening games of the season wouldn't go ahead. We said a couple of things that neither of us liked and both took badly but it was left there. Then came the Super Cup. We gave a terrible impression. There were scraps, battles, giving your heart and soul… But the other things (the finger in Tito Vilanova's eye) - that was the kind of thing you might see at other clubs - tacky clubs, who need to resort to skulduggery, and that is not for us".
How the resentment at club level affected the national team: "As captain at Madrid and with Spain, I had to step in to mediate because this isn't a war. But by that stage there was already a certain amount distancing going on".
Heated discussion with Mourinho: "We played Levante, a game in which we fell further behind to Barcelona. That was the moment when we stopped talking. We were alone together in a room and he starts telling me that I should be more open and honest. I told him that I didn't think it was right for a professional to poke another coach (Tito Vilanova) in the eye. Someone from the press department at the club grabbed us and told us to calm down, to talk it through. We sat down again and said what we had to say face to face".
2012/13: relationship with Mou sours: "There were two or three games in which we didn't play well. That was when the old resentment resurfaced, when we fell behind in the table. Our relationship deteriorated. It had reached the point of no return by the third year. Up until the second year it was a love-hate relationship. He told me he didn't think I was focused, he didn't think I was playing well… I thought that maybe it was true. I had other things on my mind that I was worried about at the time"
On the bench in Málaga and bad vibes: "It was the start of the New Year. I don't know, there was a whole rigmarole that I didn't like. Press conferences that he decided he wasn't going to do, then Álvaro (Arbeloa) came out and said something… A few weeks after that, I injured my hand".
Why did you not come out to defend yourself? "What are we supposed to do? Turn it into a circus? Maybe what I should have done would have been to collar him and talk it through in his office".
Accused of being 'The Mole': "What can I do, defend myself about something which isn't true? I got blamed for something I didn't do… So I stopped talking and accepted that people thought I was one talking to the press. I shut up more than I should have".
Accusations from fans: "One day I saw some lads with Madrid shirts, I was in my car, perfectly relaxed and they started to say: "It's your fault, you're the one to blame…" - just from what they had read or heard in the press. And because I wasn't saying anything, everything got even more confused and I became a victim of my own silence. I've told my version of events, I'm sure he will tell his version".
Heart attack, Mourinho gets in touch: "He called me, wished me the best. Those are the little things which I should focus on. Other people have made more out of the animosity than we have".