Casillas: I want to play for Real Madrid until I'm 40
The Blancos captain says there is always intense pressure and constant speculation in the Spanish capital – yet insisted that he has no desire to move elsewhere
Iker Casillas claims that, while every player needs a “crash-course in impatience” at Real Madrid, he has never entertained the idea of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu and wants to continue playing there until he’s 40.
The Spain international’s future with the Blancos appeared very much in doubt after he was ostracised by former boss Jose Mourinho during the 2012-13 season before then being shifted to the role of cup competitions goalkeeper under Carlo Ancelotti last season.
However, Casillas has now re-established himself as Madrid’s first-choice shot-stopper despite the summer arrival of Keylor Navas from Levante and says he never considered leaving the club he has represented since he was a teenager.
“Madrid’s so big it seems like winning the European Cup only buys you a month,” he told The Guardian. “When you come to this club you need a crash-course in impatience. There’s no time here.
“There’s always speculation but after all the stories, the rumours, I’m still here.
“There’s never been a chance for me to go anywhere else because I’ve never thought about it.
“All the presidents I’ve had have said: ‘The day you don’t want to be here, just come and tell me.’ And I’m still here. It started here and I want it to finish here.
“I think I can play until I’m 40. I feel fit and strong. If your head and body are fine, you can do it. And if you’re happy, if you have got a target, you never have a reason to go anywhere else.”
Indeed, despite lifted the Champions League for the third time in May, courtesy of Madrid’s 4-1 defeat of city rivals Atletico, Casillas is still hungry for more continental glory.
“We waited a decade for La Decima,” he pointed out. “Now we’re thinking about the 11th European Cup.
“And we’ve got the team for that, so why not?”
Madrid are currently in the midst of an 11-game winning streak in all competitions and will be confident of extending their run on Tuesday against Champions League Group B rivals Liverpool, who are struggling for form this season.