Casillas welcomes Dudek
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Iker Casillas has welcomed the arrival of Jerzy Dudek to Real Madrid.Iker Casillas believes that Real Madrid have strengthened the right areas of the team during the summer and has welcomed the arrival of Jerzy Dudek.
The Spain international goalkeeper admits to not keeping up-to-date with the football news since the end of the season, but knows what has been happening at the Bernabeu.
New coach Bernd Schuster has come in and seen Pepe and Christoph Metzelder arrive to strengthen the defence and Javier Saviola join to bolster the forward line.
"The club is doing a good job at strengthening the team," Casillas told AS.
"They have made very good signings. They are laying good foundations for the future, which is the most important thing. The players will do the rest."
Following the exit of Diego Lopez to Villarreal, Casillas will face competition from Dudek for a place in Madrid's first team and he is looking forward to the challenge.
"I am very happy with having reinforcements in any position and I believe Dudek and I will be in healthy competition anyway because no one has earned a position indefinitely on this team," he continued.
"I can't be hypocritical and believe that I will play in every game form the very start. On the contrary, I have to earn that spot."
Casillas was not concerned by the amount of money th club have splashed out on prising Pepe away from Porto and thinks that he will fit in quickly.
"If they believe he is the ideal player to have, then the price is unimportant," he said, reflecting on the é¼30million price tag.
"The club has spent that money for a reason. He is a very young player, capable of performing brilliantly. We'll have to wait and see how he plays."
The arrival of Saviola has also impressed the Madrid custodian and believes that the Argentinian can offer a new dimension to the attack.
"Madrid have been very clever once again," Casillas stated. "He was free from Barcelona, he is young and has exceptional talent. He is very fast and I am sure he will adapt to the team very quickly.
"There will be a lot of competition on the squad, but we need that. We needed decisive players and Saviola is just that: he is a young and very driven player. The fact that he comes from Barcelona proves he's got it all."
Along with the players, Madrid has a new coach and Casillas was impressed by the German as a player and by what he has achieved as a trainer in recent seasons.
"Schuster has made his mark on all the other teams he's coached and Getafe are the best example of that," he said.
"They played very good football last year.
"They never gave up, ending the League on a comfortable position on the table and qualifying for next season's Uefa Cup. They couldn't have done better than that and now we will have to do even better because this Club is much more demanding.
"I don't know him personally. I used to watch him play for Real Madrid when I was a kid. Everyone says great things about him as a coach.
"He seems anxious to want to do great things at the Club, so we are all very glad he's joined us. All of us Madridistas want the club to be at the top of its game again, as it deserves. We players are going to help him make things work out."
After a summer break that included a holiday to Cuba and working for his favourite charities, Casillas believes that he will be ready to start training again.
"I am not really looking forward to pre-season training, but I'm sure that I will be anxious to work again as soon as I rejoin the squad and start playing in official games," he revealed.
"I also have the challenge of qualifying for the 2008 Euro with Spain ahead of me.
"I rested a lot over the summer, but I have also done some charity work. I was in Sierra Leone opening some schools and I managed to visit the kids in my Summer Camp. I try to help in any way I can."