Iker Casillas 'forced out' of Real Madrid by president Florentino Perez, say parents

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas looks towrds the ground during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Getafe CF
Image: Iker Casillas: Joins Porto after 16-year spell at Real Madrid

Departing Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas was forced out by club president Florentino Perez and is too good to play for a "third-tier" side like Porto, according to his parents.

Real announced on Saturday that Casillas was leaving after 16 seasons in the first team to join the Portuguese club, and his exit is widely expected to prompt the arrival of David De Gea from Manchester United.

Real published a glowing homage to Casillas on their website, calling him "the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the club and in the history of Spanish football" as well as "a symbol of the best in our history".

However, in an interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, Casillas's parents Jose Luis and Mari Carmen said their son had been badly treated by Perez since he returned for a second stint as president in 2009.

Casillas had been the victim of an orchestrated campaign of "vilification" in recent years which eventually prompted his decision to quit, they added.

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Iker Casillas said an emotional farewell to Real Madrid after he agreed a transfer to Porto

Perez wanted to bring in Juventus and Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon instead of Casillas as he preferred taller players, El Mundo quoted Mari Carmen as saying.

Mari Carmen added Casillas was upset about a financial dispute with Real which prompted the player to take legal action against the club in 2009.

Real did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Iker has put up with a great deal, he has suffered psychological pressure and they treated him differently to other players," Mari Carmen told El Mundo.

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas gestures
Image: Casillas waves goodbye to Real Madrid after 16 years

"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."

Casillas's mother said former European champions Porto were not prestigious enough for her son, who won three Champions Leagues titles with Real and captained Spain to triumphs at Euro 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

"Porto is a third-tier team for someone of Iker's stature," Mari Carmen added.

"A world champion can't end up at Porto. He could have gone wherever he wanted and I wouldn't have cared if it had been Barcelona because they are gentlemen."

Casillas is due to hold a farewell news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

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