Real Madrid has, for many years now, been horrible at saying goodbye to its legends. At Madrid you will never see the treatment Steven Gerrard is getting at Liverpool, or Xavi at Barcelona. This was the case with Fernando Hierro, Raul, Luis Figo, and countless others. None of them, however, come close to the horrible treatment that Iker Casillas has been subjected to for the past three years, ever since Jose Mourinho decided to murder him in the eyes of the public.
Now the situation is as follows:
- Real Madrid wants to get rid of Iker Casillas (and replace him with David De Gea).
- Iker Casillas wants to leave Real Madrid.
- Iker Casillas has two years left on his contract (through June 2017) worth about 30 million euros (roughly $33 million).
- If Real Madrid wants to terminate the contract, Casillas wants to get the 30 million euros it owes him.
- Real Madrid does not want to pay him 30 million euros.
So now Real Madrid and Casillas are in a showdown. And it looks like Real Madrid has made the first move. Spanish radio station Cadena Ser is reporting that the club has told Casillas that they want him on the team next season. If you think about it, this is a little bit odd. Why would a team need to tell a player who has two years left on his contract and who has publicly stated that he wants to fulfill his deal that it wants him on the team next season?
Real Madrid is probably bluffing. It don’t really want Casillas around next season. One of the main reasons is that there are reports that David De Gea doesn’t want Casillas there if he is going to sign for Madrid. That’s understandable. De Gea doesn’t want Casillas’ considerable shadow looming over him as he tries to establish himself as his successor.
Will Casillas call the bluff? He’s a hyper-competitive guy who wouldn’t like to sit on the bench. He probably still feels he can play for a top club at the highest level. But he doesn’t want to let Real Madrid off the hook, especially given the piss poor way it has treated him. Also, 30 million euros is just a lot of friggin money that no one would part with easily.
It will be interesting to see if Casillas responds, “Cool, bro. Then I’ll just stay and fight for a spot on the team.” That would put the ball back in Madrid’s court, which would have to either,
a) convince De Gea to come even with Casillas staying, or
b) pay Casillas 30 million euros to pack his bags
It’s all very sad. Casillas is a top-five all-time legend at the club, along with Alfredo Di Stefano, Raul, Francisco Gento, and Emilio Butragueño. He doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. But then again, under Florentino Perez, this has been the norm, so it shouldn’t surprise anybody.