Tagged: Iker Casillas

Casillas Xavi and Gerrard illustrate death of one-club man – ESPN FC

Casillas Xavi and Gerrard illustrate death of one-club man – ESPN FC.

I touched on this earlier in the week with the Aspirer.(Note the actual article was written a few days before being published) Sad to see these players all go from their clubs.

Is Porto signing Iker Casillas from Real Madrid a good move – ESPN FC

Is Porto signing Iker Casillas from Real Madrid a good move – ESPN FC.

I’m leaning towards yes. Porto get a top-class goalkeeper, yes Casillas still falls in that category, to strengthen a side that will be challenging domestically and is a troublesome prospect for many teams in Europe. The author points to the commercial side of things as well, which is another benefit, and Casillas could play for a good few years before retiring. The only issues would be his wages and what his fee was.

Iker Casillas era ends at Real Madrid – ESPN FC

Iker Casillas era ends at Real Madrid – ESPN FC.

Sad to see you leave Real Madrid “San Iker,” and in such a fashion too. Poor. You were one of the many reasons I appreciated Real Madrid before finally settling on Barcelona as my Spanish side. Great goalkeeper.

No fanfare for Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas as he leaves for Porto

Iker Casillas’ Exit from Real Madrid Leaves Behind a Mess of Mixed Emotions | Bleacher Report

Iker Casillas’ Exit from Real Madrid Leaves Behind a Mess of Mixed Emotions | Bleacher Report.

Not that they care, but here’s another reason to add to the list of why I don’t like Real Madrid. Such an icon thrown out on his bum. Sad.

Real Madrid saga Iker Casillas Keylor Navas David De Gea – ESPN FC

Real Madrid saga Iker Casillas Keylor Navas David De Gea – ESPN FC.

Really crappy how Real Madrid have treated some of their legends. Iker Casillas is no longer the keeper he was, any fan or neutral or otherwise can see that. He is still a great keeper though and I think a lot of what’s wrong with him now is all the politics and crap he’s been dealing with at Real Madrid for the past few years. I don’t see the point of David De Gea’s arrival for either the player himself or Madrid but who knows what will happen.

We’ll all find out at some point.

It was a good run for Spain and they don’t deserve all the hate


It is the end of an era, that much is obvious.

Spain has left supporters, critics and neutrals shocked, happy and surprised with their performances over two games in the  2014 World Cup. Even if they had failed to keep their title, a highly unlikely prospect most would admit, for a team of this quality and experience to play as they did is inexcusable.

While I was, as I stated in Mea Culpa Netherlands, Mea Culpa, completely shocked at the result in Spain’s game against the Netherlands, I’m not anymore.

I’m sure none would want to take anything away from either the Netherlands with their impressive 5 goals unanswered or Chile with their pressing, teamwork and finishing.

We can talk about tactics and player selection but the real fault lies in the seeming arrogant mentality the players displayed on the pitch.

Yes,”tiki-taka” was in its dying days as was clear by Barcelona’s fall in recent seasons. Vicente Del Bosque wanted the side to stick to his way of playing, which is commendable, but then he also wanted to show he was willing to change. That’s why Diego Costa started two games despite being unfit and unsuitable for the Spanish style.

He then did the expected against Chile and added another more direct threat in the form of Pedro, as well as solidifying, at least the choice indicated things should have been solidified, the defense with Javi Martinez. You can also point to Iker Casillas’ poor end to the season as well as his lack of playing time throughout. I would still have kept the captain in the squad, he’s still my favorite goalkeeper after all, but would have expected a better second showing.

From a mental standpoint it’s as if the Spanish players were expecting teams to run scared and that their possession and passing would to continue to overwhelm. It’s as if they felt, “We’ve won it all before, we can do it again without much sweat.” They came up against two opponents, the Netherlands and Chile, they defeated en route to their 2010 World Cup success.

What's next for Spain?

What’s next for Spain?

It was obvious that both those teams, especially the Netherlands, would be looking for some revenge. Spanish players didn’t seem to care until the second half of their match against Chile.

Which makes things even more annoying/frustrating.

Where was that from the start? Maybe Spain wouldn’t be facing all the backlash if they actually played with heart, and played like reigning champions even if they did still fall. The game against Australia doesn’t matter and no one interested in Spanish football should be happy if they dismantle the Socceroos. Neither side would deserve that result.

It’s a sad way for Spain to end this run but even sadder still the vehement delight of the masses at their downfall.

I guess that’s always the case when sports dynasties, or potential sports dynasties, fall. Everybody else now has the chance to win, and it feels good. It’ still seems a bit much.

There’s no denying that this team was the undisputed No.1 side from Euro 2008 until this very day June, 18 2014. Some may have disliked their style from the outset but most would say it was brilliant and beautiful at its best.

They are no longer the best team in the world. The winner of this World Cup will take that title. And as much as I’d like them to, they probably won’t bounce back right away in Euro 2016.

Funnily enough, just as the penultimate nail in the coffin was placed in that Confederations Cup final against Brazil in 2013 in the Maracana, the final nail was knocked in by another South American team at the same venue.

It was a good run Spain, and you don’t deserve all the critics. I hope you don’t fall back into the realm of constant underachievers after this.

Lisbon A Week Later and My Association with Wanderers

Okay, so I finally got to sit down and watch the Champions League finals from start to finish.

From a defensive standpoint, Atletico was so unlucky to lose that game. They made things tough for a Madrid side that only really started to dominate towards the end of the game.

Depth is certainly the issue Diego Simeone has to fix during the summer. Things may have been different if the club had been able to bring on someone of a higher caliber than Adrian to replace Diego Costa.

The game itself wasn’t overly exciting until Madrid’s late push but, as with the FA Cup finals,  the result was basically inevitable once the favoured team scored the equalizer.

Taking a look a turn to look at players, Cristiano Ronaldo reminded me why I dislike him as a footballer with his celebration. It doesn’t matter what the reasoning may have been. He may have come off an injury but he did little in the game to call for that reaction. It definitely made me chuckle when Gareth Bale, despite some woeful misses, packed more of a punch through the match, and scored the eventual winner.

For anyone still not convinced by what was a pretty impressive debut season, Bale basically ended any further doubt that he’s worthy of wearing a Madrid shirt with his winner. Especially when you add that to his Copa Del Rey winner, sans Ronaldo, against Barcelona. I doubt many will ever be convinced about him being worth his €91m fee though.

Iker Casillas, my favourite goalkeeper despite his Real Madrid ties, is, as Michael Cox notes in the article posted above, certainly a cause for concern for Spain heading into the World Cup. It’s obvious his decrease in playing time, having to contend with Diego Lopez, has affected his confidence and decision-making.

In all its a, grudging, congrats from me to Madrid for “La Decima.”

And as a slight aside, let’s head in a different direction all together.

I just randomly thought of something a lot of football fans probably contend with as well. Maybe. Does anyone else have that one, or two, or three teams they have an interest in outside of their favourite? I do.

For me, one of those teams is  Bolton Wanderers.


Their signing of Ricardo Gardner after his performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup.

Well, him and Jay-Jay Okocha.

My interest in the club has been there since Gardner touched down on British shores in 1998 and donned a Bolton shirt. Gardner made over 400 appearances for the British side while playing a number of positions.

Gardner didn’t make that many appearances without reason, and he showed his talent on plenty of occasions. He did that while playing along the aforementioned Okocha, as well as Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro, Gary Speed, Youri Djorkaeff and plenty others.

I’m by no means as invested in Bolton as I am with Arsenal, or even Barcelona, but I have kept an eye on the club throughout those years. Especially when they’ve been in the Premier League.

There are many other smaller teams I hope do well, except when they are playing Arsenal, but my association with Bolton has gone on the longest.

Here’s to hoping the Trotters make it back to the Premier League.