After representing Real Madrid in over 700 matches, securing a grand total of 18 trophies for Los Blancos and remaining one of the longest serving players to ever step foot in the Bernabeu – 34-year-old Iker Casillas is certainly a figure worthy of respect within the Spanish capital.
The somewhat legendary goal-keeper has not only proven himself to be a successful servant of Real Madrid domestically throughout the years – for as Casillas triumphantly lifted the World Cup trophy above his ahead as captain of the Spanish national team in 2010 – the long-term Bernabeu regular has also shown himself to be pretty handy on the international scene as well.
However, as such fairy-tale like careers scarcely end in as bright a circumstance in which they begun, the relationship between Real Madrid and one of their longest serving sons looks to be strained at this stage in the proceedings, with Manchester United shot-stopper and fellow Spaniard between the sticks – David de Gea – looking set to replace his compatriot at the Bernabeu ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
So then, if the journey with Los Blancos eventually comes to an end for the ageing 34-year-old this summer, just where will the experienced Iker Casillas ultimately end up next?
Well despite the widespread support and admiration that has generally followed the Spaniard throughout his time in La Liga, recent seasons have somewhat surprisingly provided a slightly different narrative for Casillas in the cold light of day. Yes, Real Madrid have certainly achieved some great success during that time, but it really hasn’t all been plain sailing for their number one shot-stopper with all things considered.
Recently the vastly experienced goal-keeper has had to endure several bouts of booing from his own set of supporters, and has subsequently fallen short in key areas during the last few seasons of his admittedly glistening career. Frequent mistakes seemed to have plagued the Real Madrid man most recently, and with the Los Blancos hierarchy inevitably finding a younger, more promising replacement for Casillas in the shape of David de Gea, it seems his time in the Spanish capital may be rapidly approaching its end.
The former World Cup winner has already pledged his future away from La Liga should he decide to cut his ties with Real Madrid this summer, so a move elsewhere in Europe ultimately looks the most likely course of action for the soon to be club-less Iker Casillas to take.
With such a notion in mind, the Premier League could easily become a fine new destination for the Spaniard as the 2015/16 season quickly approaches. English teams seem to love landing big name players with grand reputations throughout the years, and although the current Real Madrid keeper perhaps wouldn’t represent a first choice starter for any top side looking to progress next year, his presence and experience in the dressing room alone would arguably be enough to justify his arrival.
Arsenal though – who were previously thought of as keen admirers of Iker Casillas for his past escapades – will ultimately no longer require the services of the supposed want-away Spanish shot-stopper. With Petr Cech looking like a strong contender to tie down that elusive no. 1 spot at the Emirates next season, it would be very uncharacteristic of Arsene Wenger to land another top class keeper throughout the course of the summer.
Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur though – with Hugo Lloris looking increasingly likely to make the switch to M anchester United after David de Gea leaves – could tie this particular transfer saga round full circle with the signing of Iker Casillas. The Spaniard represents the level of quality Spurs want to achieve in the not too distant future, and could most definitely do an adequate job at White Hart Lane next season should circumstances allow.
Even though Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace have also been linked with a surprise move to bring Iker Casillas to the Premier League next season as well however, maybe the lure of a more prestigious club elsewhere in Europe will ultimately convince the Real Madrid keeper one way or another this summer.
Either that, or the undoubted temptation of playing in a newly developing league across the world for endless riches every week, could prove enough to end Iker Casillas’ ties with Real Madrid when a new goal-keeper eventually stakes his claim at the Bernabeu next season.
As fans of the English game continue to love seeing big name foreign signings in the Premier League however, Iker Casillas’ potential arrival on these here shores this summer would certainly be something worthy of gathering a great deal of attention to say the very least.