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Iker Casillas at Marca

January 3, 2011

And for today’s third interview: Iker spoke with Marca last week in this two-part interview (the first was on the Spanish national team, which you can read here).  The second part deals with Madrid and all the things going on there (part of the interview can be found here; the full version is in the print version).  Anyway, here are the highlights; Iker’s making his way back to my good graces again with some of his statements.

And I want to say that they should have kept Iker in the tux because I’m not a fan of Iker in plaid, although he doesn’t look too bad here, even if he’s a bit too blue.  At least he didn’t wear blue sneakers!

The interview took place at El Acebo restaurant, in Iker’s corner.

Q:  In the last two years, you’ve had a better time playing with the national team than with Madrid.  It’s now time to celebrate a title with your club, no?

A:  It’s true.  Perhaps the triumphs of the national team made us forget a bit what happened in Madrid, two years in which we didn’t have a great time.  This year I can focus solely and exclusively on Madrid to achieve our objectives.

Q:  You want to start winning again with Madrid and raise up your first trophy as the captain.

A:  Yes.  I don’t want another year to pass without winning a title.  I’ve been with the club since I was nine and each time something is not accomplished, the word “disaster” is floated.  We deserve a title for the team we have and the way we’ve been working.  We know that el madridismo is demanding and we can’t ask for more time even though we’re a young team.

Q:  Do you see any parallels between the World Cup loss to Switzerland, where there was time to fix things, and el clásico, which is the same?

A:  I hope it’s like that.  The other day, my uncle Félix told me something fun and curious:  in what’s left of the season, we can face Barça four more times:  in the return game of the Liga, the final of the Copa and in an home-and-away in the Champions.  And he told me, “I prefer that they keep their 5-0 and we spread out our goals and win each of the rest of the games 1-0.”  What do you think?  (Laughs).

Q:  That sounds good…

A:  That’s what I think (more laughter).  [I like Iker’s uncle!!!]

Q:  What did Mourinho tell you after el clásico?

A:  That now more than ever we have to show our faces.  We didn’t rob or kill anyone.  We have to continue, to endure and show that we’re men in the most difficult moments.

Q:  Mourinho and Real Madrid.  The perfect formula to become champions once again.

A:  Yes.  He’s a phenomenon.  I’ve said it many times and I never get tired of saying so.  He knows very well what he wants, he has very clear-cut ideas, he wants to work for Real Madrid, he’s happy with Madrid and he’s excited about the project.

Q:  But some people don’t understand his methods…

A:  But those who are on the outside don’t have to understand.  We who are with him every day do.  If someone doesn’t share his way of being it’s because they don’t know him.  I know him and I’m with him every day and so I can assure you that he’s good-natured, natural, genial, humble… None of us on the inside have anything bad to say about him.

Q:  But did he seem so good-natured before he came here?

A:  I had my opinion before and it’s clear that the image he projects has nothing to do with the reality.  If I had to defend him now, stick my hand in the fire for him, I would do it without any doubt.  Me and everyone else.

Q:  You’ve said many times that Mourinho is very smart.

A:  He knows when to push one’s buttons whether it’s a player or you all… you will never catch him offside.  Never.

Q:  Which games would you highlight from this season?

A:  The two Milan games were very complete.  And the Barça game, because everyone was very interested in correcting what they did poorly.  It’s not easy to come back from such a hard blow.  But the team immediately wanted to win, and against a complicated rival such as Valencia.

Q:  With Mourinho, it appears that you’re going after the Copa del Rey.

A:  Yes.  For the míster, each game is a final.  He told us that on the first day.

Q:  How did you receive the news that this year you’d be playing in that competition?

A:  The míster decided and I said great.  I told him, “when you want me to play, I’ll play.”

Q:  Your participation is a sign that the Copa is important.

A:  Yes on the one hand, but the míster has said many times that names aren’t important to him.  Here, no one is untouchable.

Q:  Do you believe the punishment handed out by UEFA to Xabi Alonso and Ramos was exaggerated?

A:  I think they abused the repercussion from sanctioning a club like Madrid.  I’ve played all over Europe and I’ve seen flares, lasers, a thousand other things and nothing ever happened.  And then they fine Madrid because one day we come out to play one minute later.  There are things that I don’t understand.  We’re a gentlemanly club, but we can’t always be the ones paying the price.

Q:  Why do you think people say you don’t get along with Cristiano Ronaldo?

A:  I get along phenomenally with Cristiano and there is no problem.  What happens is that Cristiano vs. Casillas sells a lot, and a confrontation even more.  It could be that one day you’re not in agreement, but nothing happens.  With Ramos I have my confrontations as well, but we don’t place any importance on that.

Q:  As captain, have you told Ronaldo to control his behavior on the field?

A:  No.  Cristiano has his way of playing, his way of being and I don’t have anything to say to him.  He’s realizing that in Madrid everything is magnified.  Right now he’s the flagship of this project.  He’s the player that everyone in the world looks at.

Q:  But some of his behavior provokes the public.

A:  It’s how he is.  But I also tell you that when you go somewhere and you always hear the same insults and it’s the same old story… we’re people, not machines.  There comes a point when you get tired of it.  We also have to defend him because he’s ours. What happens is that he’s fantastic and they try to destabilize him.


Q:  You’re losing Higuaín but recovering Kaká.

A:  We’re very happy with the return of Richi.  He looks fresh, happy and he’s enjoying himself.  He’s going to be our Christmas signing.  He’s going to help us out a lot.

Q:  Is the same thing that happened to Higuaín going to happen to Benzema [in terms of the fans demanding a high level at all times]?

A:  Yes, because in Madrid that happens, there’s no waiting.  Karim has changed radically.  He talks more now because he speaks Spanish very well now, he gets together with the teammates, he tells jokes…

Apologies for marking the photos, but I’ve noticed a lot of theft recently.  And I also want to say, taking text without properly crediting is stealing too!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 10:26

    “If I had to defend him now, stick my hand in the fire for him, I would do it without any doubt.”

    Careful now, this ain’t Harry Potter.

    I like the stuff he said. Especially the stuff your highlighted. And the “Richi” part, that was cute, lol!

  2. amouria permalink
    January 3, 2011 10:50

    “If I had to defend him now, stick my hand in the fire for him, I would do it without any doubt.”

    This is because Mou is not only the coach; he is the father, the defender, the protector, the criticizer. Mou is the believed and the beloved leader.
    The reminds me of Schneider’s statement on Nov 2010: I will die for Mou…

    • January 3, 2011 11:15

      Drogba said something similar along the lines of “I’d break my legs for Mourinho.” Everywhere he goes his players love him (well, maybe not Balotelli!)

      Great answers from Iker, bad outfit! lol.

  3. Marshmallow permalink
    January 3, 2011 11:06

    “Richi” – like rich-ey? that’s different and cute :}
    I like Iker’s uncle, too! I agree with what he said, sounds good 🙂

  4. IsaBella permalink
    January 3, 2011 13:04

    Thank you Una, I loved the interview and I have the greatest respect for Iker as our captain, I only felt so sorry for him when I saw the Christmas wishes, he looked so sad…. :/

  5. IsaBella permalink
    January 3, 2011 13:05

    ah and BTW: Iker has this image of a boy next door, so the plaid is a must 🙂

  6. Kat permalink
    January 3, 2011 13:42

    “We also have to defend him because he’s ours.” – I really hope he does realize this now because he really didn’t do a good job of defending Cristiano in the wake of the whole “selfish” debacle.

    Great interview on the whole, though. I love the insights on Mourinho. It puts all the rubbish that’s said about him into perspective.

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  7. January 3, 2011 13:51

    Oh. Thank you, I also like a lot what he says, great Iker.

  8. Maisoun permalink
    January 4, 2011 00:15

    “If I had to defend him now, stick my hand in the fire for him, I would do it without any doubt.”

    ….SOMEONE’S been listening to Grenade by Bruno Mars 😛

  9. ebrahim permalink
    January 4, 2011 00:17

    thank you

  10. Sunny permalink
    January 4, 2011 00:38

    I hadn’t thought about what Iker’s uncle suggested. Sounds like a pretty good trade-off.

  11. blueforever10 permalink
    January 4, 2011 02:19

    “With Ramos I have my confrontations as well, but we don’t place any importance on that.”

    I don’t know why I enjoy this so much lol

  12. Margie permalink
    January 5, 2011 00:19

    Thank you so much for translating this, as well as everything else you translate, for those of us who don’t speak Spanish!
    This interview gives great insight into a lot of things. I love the parts about Mourinho because I always thought that Mourinho was not like his public image too.

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