I have to fight for my place in Spain side–Casillas
MADRID– Spanish captain Iker Casillas has admitted that he isn’t assured of his place in the side for the upcoming Confederations Cup having not played a competitive match for the last four months.
Goalkeeper Casillas made his comeback in Spain’s unconvincing 2-1 win over Central American minnows Haiti in a friendly in Miami on Saturday night and said he appreciated starting a lot more after being dropped by former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho at club level.
“It has seemed like a long time, but I also have to look on the bright side and now moments like this taste better,” he told Spanish TV station Telecinco.
“I am happy, but I was also a bit nervous because I have spent such a long time without playing.
“I see myself fighting for my place, but as I have said before I start at a disadvantage with respect to my teammates. I will fight with Pepe (Reina) and Victor (Valdes) to try and help the team.”
The 31-year-old also played down concerns that his relationship with club and international temmate Alvaro Arbeloa had cooled after the former Liverpool defender came out strongly in defence of Mourinho earlier this week.
“He has his point of view and we don’t have to go over it again. The important thing is I have returned to playing.
“I don’t have to speak to him about anything. It is his opinion and I need to respect it. Moreover, he is right in a large part of what he said.”
On the field Casillas did manage to at least keep a clean sheet during his 45 minutes of action as the world champions started brightly and were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas.
However, Vicente del Bosque’s men then wilted in the Florida heat and were pegged back with 15 minutes remaining when Wilde Guerrier fired in a wonderful strike past Reina, who had replaced Casillas at half-time.
Spain held on though to record the win and will now travel to New York to face the Republic of Ireland in a final warm-up friendly on Tuesday before they start their Confederations Cup campaign against Uruguay next weekend.