29
Jan

Iker Casillas hasn’t given up a goal in three months

Nov. 27, 2013. That’s the last time someone scored on Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas. It was Galatasaray’s Umut Bulut in the Champions League.

Since then, Casillas and the Real Madrid defense have been impenetrable. On Tuesday, as Los Blancos booked their spot in the Copa del Rey semifinals, Casillas broke the club record of 682 minutes without conceding a goal. He passed Paco Buyo’s mark of 658 minutes, set in the 1994-95 season.

But what’s even more impressive is that in those 11 hours and 22 minutes, Casillas has only had to make 13 saves. For those doing the math, that’s less than two saves every 90 minutes.

He should treat his defense to a nice night on the town.

18
Oct

Iker Casillas reveals plans about future to adorable kid journalist

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Image courtesy of Getty.

Ever since Iker Casillas lost his starting role at Real Madrid, questions have swirled about his future, but not much has been confirmed. We now know that Casillas is going to decide in roughly three months whether he’s staying with Los Blancos.

Who squeezed this information out of him? A child, of course.

The interview begins with a child asking him sweetly if he thinks Real Madrid are playing well. But it’s the next kid who steps up to the mic that asks the hard-hitting question.

"Would you like to stay at Real Madrid?"

Considering his surroundings — a publicity event with a bunch of young children — Casillas opens up and reveals how deeply he’s thought about his future.

He reiterated that he wants to stay at the club that he’s been with since he was little, Casillas admitted if things don’t change soon he may leave:

"As of now my decision is to stay and fight, to struggle and play every day. If I wasn’t sure about it I would have told the president I wanted to leave in September and that no matter what at Christmas. But I decided that I want to be part of this squad for a long time yet.

"That said, if the situation doesn’t change within three months, I’d say that I’ll be looking to leave."

If the Spanish international decides to leave, we can think of a club that is in the market for a goalkeeper (we’re looking right at you Manchester City).

18
Oct

Italian job? Laudrup targeted by Inter Milan

One thing has become clear about Swansea - the Welsh club are  victims of their own success. That seems to be the message judging by the latest high-profile club to be linked with their manager Michael Laudrup. Walter Mazzarri only replaced Andrea Stramaccioni in May but it seems Inter Milan are already on the look-out for a new coach.

We’ve also got the latest on unhappy Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who has been linked with a couple of big Premier League clubs, so click here for more.

13
Oct

Pepe Reina seen telling Iker Casillas to leave Real Madrid?

What is it with Spanish keepers and transfer rumors.

The future of Barcelona shot-stopper Victor Valdes has been questioned for years now, with Liverpool’s on-loan no.1 Pepe Reina reported to be heading the other way into the Camp Nou.

Recent events have seen Iker Casillas seemingly edging closer to a move from Real Madrid soon enough, with coach Carlo Ancelotti continuing Jose Mourinho’s work of putting Diego Lopez between the sticks on match days.

This latest video could be further indication of Casillas’ unhappiness at the Bernabeu, too.

Warming up before Spain’s 2-1 victory over Belarus on Friday, back-up keepers Casillas and Reina were seen chatting, unbeknownst to them that the cameras were to pick up exactly what they were saying.

Indeed, unfortunately for them, Spanish TV channel Cuatro was amongst the media at the friendly and they’ve managed to secure a now translated lip-read conversation between the two, which went something like this:

Reina: How many could it be? 10? 12? (Games you’ll play this season)

Iker: Yeah, but in the end…. -

Reina: In the end, it’s a [expletive] season… Because in the end you’re going to play, at best, 10 or 12 Cup games.

Iker: ‘But to leave now…I can’t see that happening man… at least I’ll play the Cup.

Reina: The Cup! That’s embarrassing, shameful.

Credit to Casillas for wanting to remain loyal to Los Blancos, but would a transfer breathe fresh life into the career of one of the world’s best keepers?

9
Oct

Special Inside Look: Spain’s Ciudad del Futbol

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Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer

MADRID, SPAIN

Wednesday evening in Madrid — and hundreds of kids are training at the Spanish football federation’s Ciudad del Futbol campus. Their sessions over, they grab a quick drink of water, then quickly gather in the small stand beside the suburban facility’s biggest pitch, to watch national coach Vicente del Bosque run his World Cup holders through their paces ahead of their crucial upcoming qualifiers for the 2014 finals.

The young spectators cheered and squealed as their heroes completed a light warm-up, then a series of ‘rondos’ — piggy-in-the-middle-style exercises where good technique is key and a sense of humor helps. Being a public session, no tactical secrets were displayed, but Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta had recovered from minor knocks to take part. Spain looks ready for the clashes with Belarus in Mallorca on Friday, and then Georgia in Albacete next Tuesday, when four points will seal qualification for Brazil next summer.

 If, as expected, Spain win on Friday, del Bosque may use the Georgia game for experimentation and give Swansea city attacker Michu a first cap. The Swansea attacker told reporters at the Cuidad de Futbol on Wednesday morning that he’d been a little awestruck at first when training alongside so many world champions — but was now ready to stake his claim for a regular squad spot.

Image provided by Getty

“When you step out on the grass, with the [World Cup winner] star on your chest, the sensation is indescribable,” Michu said. “I was a little nervous to be playing with the best players in the world, but you settle down quickly. I am here to make the most of the opportunity — and to help Spain qualify for the World Cup.”

The gap between Michu’s press conference and training left time to visit the impressive campus’ excellent museum — which shows visitors just what soccer means in Spain. The exhibits begin with a search for the sport’s origins in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Mexico and Scotland, then fast forward to the early 20th century as young king Alfonso XIII oversees its introduction here.

Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres — dressed in period gear — guide you through a time tunnel to a 1930s pre-Civil War dressing room. Among the other life-sized dioramas is a 1950s film-set from when General Franco’s regime “persuaded” Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano and Barcelona’s Ladislao Kubala to star in feature length propaganda pictures.

Big sections cover the 1964 European Championships, which Spain won; and the 1982 World Cup, which Spain hosted but flopped at. The tour ends on a high — with the Henri Delaunay [European Championship] and Jules Rimet [World Cup] trophies on display, alongside jerseys and footballs from their victories in the last three major international tournaments. There’s also the actual 2010 final locker-room flipchart, with del Bosque’s detailed handwritten instructions for defending Holland’s set pieces.

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Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer

Once qualification is assured for next year’s tournament, del Bosque can ponder how to best retain the trophy. Selection decisions must be made on players including Michu, Casillas, Torres, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Juan Mata, Koke, Isco and – most controversially – Brazilian-born Diego Costa.

But all that can wait for now. Wednesday’s session ended with a friendly mini-game, before the sun set behind the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, and the players, children and journalists headed home for their suppers.

Another day at one of world soccer’s most important nerve centers — with Brazil 2014 on the horizon.

6
Jul

Iker Casillas, Sara Carbonero to become parents for first time

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Congratulations are in store for one of soccer’s true power couples.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Sara Carbonero revealed that they are set to become parents for the first time.

The pair were reportedly tight-lipped about their plans, but recently revealed the news to their closest family and friends earlier this week. Carbonero, a Spanish journalist, is believed to be 13 weeks pregnant.

The news comes after a tumultuous season for Casillas on the pitch, following his strained relationship with former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho after suffering a hand injury in January and subsequently falling down the pecking order at Madrid.

Despite his uncertain role at Real Madrid, and Spain’s crushing 3-0 Confederations Cup final loss to Brazil last month, the 32-year-old keeper expressed his excitement before departing to a secret vacation destination with Carbonero.

“We’re very happy,” the couple told El Mundo. “I’m going to have a baby from La Mancha,” the Spanish captain added referring to Carbonero’s city of origin.

The couple confirmed their relationship back in 2010, right before Spain’s World Cup run in South Africa. Of course, who can ever forget their iconic smooch after Spain’s World Cup final victory over the Netherlands in thrilling extra time:

30
Jun

Mourinho’s Eye-Gouge Reaches Spain’s Constitutional Court

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No matter where he goes, Jose Mourinho just can’t seem to leave the drama behind.

According to a report from Spanish newspaper Marca, Mourinho is the subject of a legal case that has just reached Spain’s Constitutional Court. The topic? The infamous ‘eye-gouge’ incident in which Mourinho poked then-assistant coach of Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, in the eye.

A law-firm based in Barcelona took it upon themselves to file a complaint against the former Real Madrid manager, alleging that he was guilty of disrupting the public order.

Are we sure they’re referring to the eye-gouge incident, or the season Real Madrid managed to break Barcelona’s grip on La Liga?

Either way, Spain just can’t seem to get enough of Jose.

13
May

Fabio Coentrao’s mistake on Saturday is almost too good to be true.

Coentrao took his place on the Real Madrid bench for the match against Espanyol, and on most days, there would be nothing unusual with that. But on Saturday, he wasn’t in the match-day squad.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas gives Coentrao a double take, but even after he explains the situation to the Portugal defender it just doesn’t seem to sink in that he is not supposed to be there. Even Jose Mourinho gets a good laugh out of his blunder, and let’s face it, smiles have been in short supply at Madrid lately.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction says all you need to know about what he thinks about Coentrao — even he knows his close friend isn’t too bright sometimes.