Iker Casillas leaves Real Madrid in tears as parents blame Florentino Perez for his exit

Casillas bid a tearful farewell to Real Madrid after 25 years of service

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Iker Casillas broke down in tears as he announced his departure from Real Madrid after his parents claimed he was forced out by Florentino Perez.

The legendary goalkeeper choked up several times as he sat alone, thanked the fans and club for giving him everything and closed with 'C'est fini (It's over)'.

This came after his parents told Spanish newspaper El Mundo that their son was led out the club by president Florentino Perez because he preferred taller players - they added that they would rather see him playing for rivals Barcelona instead of Porto.

Casillas said: “Beyond remembering me as a good goalkeeper or a bad goalkeeper, I just hope that people remember me for being a good person.

“This club also moulded me as a person and helped me to grow."

The Spain international spent a difficult last season at Madrid as he was jeered by some fans at the Santiago Bernabeu for failing to win major silverware.

The club paid tribute to 'Saint Iker' by calling him "the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the club and in the history of Spanish football" but no one sat next to him in his farewell.

His mother Mari Carmen said: "Iker has put up with a great deal, he has suffered psychological pressure and they treated him differently to other players.

"I have watched him suffer for many years. It is Florentino who is pushing him out because he wanted to end his career at Real Madrid.

"Porto is a third-tier team for someone of Iker's stature. He could have gone wherever he wanted and I wouldn't have cared if it had been Barcelona because they are gentlemen."

She, and father Jose Luis, added that their son was a victim of an orchestrated campaign of "vilification" which led him to the decision to quit.

Real did not immediately respond to those statements and the Spaniard did not take any questions after the announcement, in which he did not mention Perez.

He said he is excited to join Porto, who are managed by ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui, and that he would try his best to win some more silverware.

His departure has paved the way for the arrival of Manchester United stopper David de Gea who had a very impressive season and is also expected to replace Casillas as the first-choice keeper for Spain.

The Spaniard joined the Real academy when he was nine years old and made his senior debut in 1999 at the age of 18.

He was the first-choice goalkeeper and captain for 16 seasons which came with five La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, four Super Cups and three Champions League triumphs.

He also enjoyed great international success as he won the World Cup in 2010 as well as two straight European championships in 2008 and 2012.