Iker Casillas believes Real Madrid are ready for Champions League success

 

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas believes his side are ready to win the Champions League this season.

The nine-time winners have lost in the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition for the past two years, but Casillas is hoping that the added experience of those losses and the progression they have made since Jose Mourinho took charge in 2010 will make the difference come May.

He told AS: "Our goals are similar to those last year. We are hoping to move a step forward like we have in the other seasons since Mourinho has been with us.

"We want to win the league again, the Super Cup and then after two years of arriving at the doors of the Champions League final, we want to reach the final of Europe's main competition.

"I think we have extraordinary fans, a magnificent stadium and an incredible squad. With all of this it is clear that this team deserves a European Cup, but there are many teams fighting for this title.

"There are steps we have taken. For example, two years ago players like (Mesut) Ozil or (Sami) Khedira didn't have the experience they have now. The same applies with Karim (Benzema). But thinking about the 10th European Cup is not an obsession because we face the start of the league and the Super Cup first."

Casillas has seen Real develop under Mourinho from Copa del Rey winners in the Portuguese's first season to title winners as they ended Barcelona's dominance at the top of Spanish football with their first league triumph in four years last season, and the Spanish international does not see any reason why the former Chelsea boss will not remain in Madrid for many years to come.

"I don't think the manager will be different. He is a committed person and has turned this team around. He has removed the previous fears from the players when we didn't win anything and he has a project in mind. He feels very happy to be here."

The 31-year-old was asked about the possibility of Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric being Real's first big signing of the summer.

The Croatian played against Casillas at this summer's European Championships and the keeper believes he could be a good addition to the Spanish champions' squad.

"I know him. He has been a great player ever since he signed for Tottenham. I faced him in the Euros and he had a very good season.

"If the manager thinks he ought to be then I am sure he will be at the level of this squad. It is not our responsibility to say anything more.

"The club and the manager are those that decide what is best for the team to move a step forward."

PA

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