A Real Madrid icon, Iker Casillas feels the club’s march to the Champions League final on Saturday will be for nought if they lose against Liverpool.
Casillas is second only to Raul Gonzalez in terms of appearances for Los Blancos, having won the Champions League three times with the club, including the historic La Decima in 2014.
Madrid has had a spectacular journey to Saturday’s final, coming from down on aggregate in all three knockout matches to defeat PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
In the Player’s Tribune, Casillas wrote that it wouldn’t matter if Liverpool won the title on Saturday instead.
Casillas wrote for the Players Tribune:
“The comebacks are perfect, but now we have to get it. We need the icing on the cake.
“If you don’t get that icing, the cake won’t be complete, right?
“If the cup does not reach the showcases, nobody will remember what happened with PSG, with Chelsea and with Manchester City. So it has to be exciting until the end, with the prize.
“One step away from glory for the 14th time, people think that winning the Champions League is easy, and it is not.
“If just reaching a Champions League semi-final is something incredible, you have to be proud when you get one, two or three cups.”
With 21 clean sheets in 50 games in all competitions, the 41-year-old singled out Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who played a vital role in their LaLiga triumph and route to Saturday’s final.
While Courtois is unquestionably the finest goalkeeper globally, Casillas’s athletic and diverse goalkeeping technique has long been admired and is something he takes pleasure in.
“A separate paragraph is for Courtois, and I think no one can argue that today he is the best goalkeeper in the world,” he said. “It’s the same thing I think of Karim [Benzema]. To raise even higher, you have to get that award. And he deserves it like nobody else since he has been essential for Madrid to reach the final in Paris.
“I am proud that, as I did with [Luis] Arconada, he has grown up inspired by my stops, by my videos. Of course, there will be another kid out there who will want to be like Courtois tomorrow. But, in short, I am flattered to have been a part of his life.”
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