For the past two seasons, the debate has been over who should be the starting goalkeeper - Iker Casillas or Diego Lopez. Now, the debate shifts to the opposite side - to the exit door.
After Iker Casillas’ hand injury two years back, Diego Lopez was brought in and he made an immediate impact. Lopez, a former Real Madrid player, became Jose Mourinho’s top choice keeper. That trend continued with Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival. However, Casillas was used in the Cup competitions - Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League; and Diego Lopez for La Liga games.
Now after his heroics in Brazil, Costa Rica and Levante’s Keylor Navas is hot property and if reports are to be believed, Real Madrid are willing to spend €10 million for the 27-year-old. Question now is which of the two, Diego Lopez or Iker Casillas, should ideally leave because there is very little chance that any of these two would like to play third fiddle (and I don’t suppose Navas would come in as third choice!)
Case for Iker Casillas
Casillas has been the Real Madrid goalkeeper for more than a decade now. He knows the club, he knows how it functions and as a captain, he knows how to push his team forward. The players respect him as a captain and he has the leadership quality needed to handle a locker room such as Madrid’s.
Thanks to his experience, he doesn’t get fazed during big tournaments such as UEFA Champions League which can be a difficult task when playing at latter stages in the competition.
AS yesterday claimed Casillas has a deal with Florentino Perez suggesting the captain would leave in the summer of 2015 on a free. It also stated that Iker considered leaving this summer.
Case for Diego Lopez
What is Casillas’ negative thereby becomes Lopez’s positive. Casillas had a difficult Champions League final and a miserable World Cup - making one blunder after another. This is where, sporting-wise, Lopez has an advantage if one has to choose between the two.
Lopez is also the taller of the two goalkeepers, even if not the most agile. He has been playing the league for two seasons now and has more playing time up his leave. Casillas, meanwhile, seems to be having problem due to lack of playing time - which was visible in the latter stages of the season.
There have been reports of Lopez being wanted by clubs such as Monaco and Napoli.