Spain and Real Madrid skipper and goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, admits that he was devastated when Jose Mourinho dropped him from Madrid’s starting line-up last season.
Casillas and The Special One did not see eye to eye, and the former Madrid manager jumped at the opportunity to isolate the ‘keeper when he could not play due to a damaged hand.
Casillas was never restored to the starting line-up again, which was Mourinho’s prerogative as manager, but which cut the 32-year-old Los Blancos icon deep.
"I cried, suffered, felt bad and had nights where I slept little, if at all," Casillas said of his axing by Mou to fifa.com.
"I am a Madridista through and through, and before everyone else - coaches, presidents, directors of football, even myself - the club always comes first.
“A lot of people helped me deal with being injured, which was a situation I'd never experienced before. I always try to be respectful. When you're not playing, as was the case with me, you have to accept it, work hard, be patient and keep going. It's no big deal."
Madrid insiders were at pains to insist that there was no bad blood between Casillas and Mou.
But the ‘keeper- who is expected to be returned to the starting line-up without ceremony by new manager Carlo Ancelotti- hints at a different reality.
Now that Mou is just a memory in Madrid, Casillas admits that his mood is buoyant once more.
"Yes, I really have got my happiness back," he said.
"It's always difficult when you find yourself in a situation you've never experienced before. It hasn't been easy, but now I've turned the corner, I'm a different Iker Casillas."