Soccer

Mourinho revisits angry Casillas feud after De Gea plot claim and ‘one arm’ text

Jose Mourinho says his extraordinary rows with Iker Casillas are now in the past as the Tottenham manager paid tribute to his former Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Casillas retired from football on Monday, 16 months after suffering a heart attack while training with Porto, his final club.

As one of the most decorated goalkeepers of the 21st century, Casillas' place as a modern great is well-established, but he had a difficult period under Mourinho in what became the Portuguese's final season at the Bernabeu in 2012/13.

Mourinho would often challenge Casillas in public during that time, and he decided to leave the Real legend on the bench even after he returned from a serious injury, instead choosing to pick unheralded understudy Diego Lopez.

The decision drew outcry in Spain, with even Barcelona's Andres Iniesta going public with his criticism of Mourinho.

At the time, Mourinho's former Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar said he received a text message from the now Spurs boss as he made an unflattering comparison between the two stoppers when they had just faced each other in the Confederations Cup, with Brazil winning 3-0.

“When I got to the dressing room, I saw a message from Jose on my phone,” Cesar told SporTV , via Sports Joe.

“The message was: ‘You’re crazy. He’s the one who should wear your shirt and not the other way around.’

"He told me I stopped more with one arm than Casillas could with two.”

Years later, and when Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United, he accused Casillas of orchestrating a media campaign against Red Devils stopper David de Gea in order to undermine his fellow countryman and win back his place as Spain No.1.

"Why criticism in Spain? Do you know? I know," said Mourinho, via The Telegraph.

"Because there is somebody very powerful that is thinking about jumping [into the Spain team] again, but I think it’s very difficult to jump when you have the best goalkeeper in the world in front of you."

Shortly after that, and in the wake of Mourinho's United losing 3-1 to Liverpool in what became the final match before the Portuguese was sacked, Casillas made a pointed tweet which was seemingly about his old boss.

"According to a Portuguese newspaper someone said that a player like me (37 years old) is at the end of his career. Completely agree," he wrote.

"My question is, for that newspaper: in the case of coaches, when and at what point do you see that they are no longer to lead a team or train?"

Now though, and in the wake of Casillas' retirement, Mourinho insists any ill-feeling between the pair is all water under the bridge.

"His intelligence and maturity have made us always respect each other and years later we have even been able to cultivate an honest friendship," Mourinho told AS on Monday.

"He is a historic goalkeeper for Real Madrid, La Roja and world football.

"With him I won La Liga and with him I had difficult moments due to my professional – and never personal – decision to play another player."

Casillas hasn't responded to the comments, and it remains to be seen if the two will ever truly make up.

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