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Iker Casillas explains why he left Real Madrid for FC Porto

The 34-year-old shot-stopper who spent 25 years at the Santiago Bernabeu decided to leave his childhood club for Porto

Iker Casillas made 725 appearances for Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has revealed the reason behind his departure from the capital club this summer stating that he needed space to breathe.

The 34-year-old shot-stopper who spent 25 years at the Santiago Bernabeu decided to leave his childhood club for Porto finally after facing heavy criticism for his performances from the supporters for the last three years or so. And the former captain explained that it was becoming difficult for him to handle all the extra attention which prompted him to depart Spain for Portugal.

"It was a tough move, but for me this is a new experience with renewed feelings of excitement,” Casillas said. “The situation at Real was not the best; I was always the focus of attention, be it positive or negative, and I needed space to breathe. I'm happy, I think you cans see it in my face", added the Porto keeper.

Casillas praises United keeper De Gea

Los Blancos endured a slow start to their new era under manager Rafa Benitez as they drew away at Gijon. But Ronaldo and co brushed aside Real Betis 5-0 at their home game last week which has impressed Casillas as he believes his former team looks in great shape.

"From what I have seen, Real Madrid look very good,” continued Casillas.

“They have reinforced themselves very well, they have some great players and the other day, although they only drew against Sporting, they had problems linking up - but they played very well. I hope that Real continue as they played against Betis.

“I hope that they compete well and with the new faces, catch up with the leader. After just two games, I don't think that there's anything to get worked up about," stated the ex-Blancos captain.

The veteran keeper was full of praise for United goalkeeper David de Gea who has been linked with a move away from the Old Trafford this entire transfer window. Viewed as a replacement for Casillas, the Spaniard acknowledged the 24-year-old for his performances in United colours, "He's phenomenal, a fantastic keeper that deserves the best".

Casillas hopes to face Real Madrid in the Champions League

Casillas also had kind words for the Bernabeu faithful as he thanked them for his support while also mentioning that he would like to face his former employers in the Champions League.

"I have no complaints. For fifteen years at Real Madrid, I enjoyed the people's affection and for that I am very thankful. I think that I have done things well enough so that wherever I go the public are nice towards me", he said.

“I’d like to be in the Champions League final at San Siro with Porto and be up against Real Madrid," concluded the World Cup-winning shot stopper.

Casillas had a 25-year-long career at the Spanish capital and made 725 appearances for them overall. He won 5 La Liga titles, 2 Copa Del Reys, 3 Champions League, 4 Supercopa De Espana, 1 Uefa Super Cup,1 FIFA World Cup and the 1 Intercontinental Cup in the famous White jersey. 

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