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Iniesta On The Mou/Casillas Divide

Andres Iniesta says he cannot understand how Real Madrid and Spain skipper, Iker Casillas, has been sidelined at the Bernabeu.

Casillas and Real manager, Jose Mourinho, have had an increasingly fractured relationship since The Special One moved to the club.

Speculation has it that Casillas and Mourinho have been duelling over dressing room power, and as a result, the manager has used his prerogative to keep Casillas out of the picture, ever since he damaged his hand earlier in the campaign.

Mourinho has gone on record to say that he wished he had been able to sign Diego Lopez sooner than he did, suggesting that Casillas would have been dropped earlier in his tenure as Madrid manager if it was up to the spikey Portuguese tactician.

It is true that Lopez has performed admirably since his arrival at the Bernabeu, and that arguably he deserves his place ahead of the Spanish number one.

Barcelona star Iniesta is willing to accept that on form, Casillas could well be second best at Madrid at the moment.

But he says he cannot fathom how club and country legend Casillas has effectively been ostracised on a personal level, considering what he has achieved for Madrid in the past.

"From this distance you do not understand the situation, given what Iker has always represented and what he still represents now," Iniesta told Onda Cero.

"Not just that he is not playing, but the things that you hear.

“It is a difficult situation. Diego Lopez is playing very well, and is a great player. But I am not talking about the sporting situation, but the things that you hear."

Real defender Pepe said at the weekend that Mourinho should “have more respect” for Casillas, while fellow stopper Sergio Ramos had a simple answer when asked if Casillas retained the support of his team-mates.

“Always,” Ramos said.

One thing is certain: Mou and Casillas cannot seem to be part of the same team, and one of them will no longer be there next season.

The strong money will be on the legend Casillas remaining, with Mourinho leaving with his Real legacy for ever up for debate, and Lopez soon to find himself back on the bench.

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