May 31, 2013, 6:58 PM EST
Outgoing Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has added an exclamation point on his season-long fued with Iker Casillas.
Mourinho has benched Spain’s number 1 in favor of Diego Lopez since January. With the “Special One” set to manage his final match with Real, and Diego Lopez injured and unavailable for selection, Mourinho left Casillas completely off the teamsheet and instead picked third and fourth choice keepers Antonio Adan and Jesus Fernandez.
With nothing riding on the match, Mourinho also left out Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Marcelo from the squad, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo who has a bit of a back issue.
It’s still a huge blow to Casillas, who’s second-choice selection led to a row with a number of players, most notably Pepe, who stood up for the Spanish keeper in the beginning of May. Pepe told the Spanish media, “There needs to be a little more respect to Iker. Iker is well loved. What the coach said was not the most appropriate. Iker is a player who is part of Madrid. He’s an institution, both in this club and in Spain.”
Mourinho responded by announcing, “Casillas? I have no problem with him. I like Diego Lopez more. And I have that right. Just as if Iker likes Pellegrini more than me. While I’m Real Madrid Coach, Diego Lopez will always play.”
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