All good things come to an end, and according to Televisión Española, one of Spain’s most important public-access channels, Iker Casillas will not continue playing for Real Madrid next season. After 16 years with the first team, he will leave the club like other Madrid legends like Raúl or Guti did. Despite his repeated statements of wanting to retire at La Casa Blanca, his time has come.
The medium hasn’t expanded much on the news, as they only claimed that their sources had heard of an initial agreement between the club and Casillas. As a respected and important part of the institution for over a decade, Real wants to make the best departure possible. TVE comments that the board would respect the history of the goalkeeper and compensate him financially in an appropriate way.
While it’s hard to know for sure why Iker has decided to leave, apparently David De Gea’s likely arrival at the Bernabéu has forced him to. Some sources in Spain even speculate that new manager Rafa Benítez would place Iker third in line for the starting role. With the hopes of saying goodbye to the Spain national team in the European Championship next year, he would need to find playing time elsewhere.
The captain still has a long summer ahead of him and rumors about offers from Turkey, England and even in La Liga have surfaced already. His connection with the fans and his performances haven’t been the best this season, creating an uncomfortable situation. The goalie will leave the club with 10 major trophies, including three UEFA Champions League titles, five leagues and two domestic cups.
Only time will tell if TVE got it right or if it was all a well-planned rumor. The truth is that ever since Mourinho benched him back in 2013, his reputation has suffered and his mistakes have been blown out of proportion by critics and bitter fans. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before Iker would become fed up with the circumstances and did what’s best for him.