Real Madrid: Iker Casillas exit leaves 'bad taste', says Xavi

Iker Casillas in tears at Real Madrid departure

The manner of Iker Casillas's Real Madrid exit leaves a "bad taste in the mouth", according to his former Spain team-mate Xavi.

Real have been criticised for failing to give the Spain goalkeeper, 34, the send-off his 16-year service warranted.

"It cannot be that maturing Spanish athletes are not shown sufficient respect," Xavi told La Vanguardia.external-link

"He is going to Porto and I am sure he will be welcomed as a hero. Away from here they will appreciate him more."

A tearful Casillas appeared alone in the press room at the Bernabeu on Sunday as he read a farewell statement to end his illustrious Real career.

The Spanish club responded to heavy criticism by organising an official presentation at the Bernabeu the next day, when hundreds of fans called for president Florentino Perez to quit.

Casillas's trophy haul
3 x Champions League (2000, 2002, 2014)2 x Copa del Rey (2011, 2014)
5 x La Liga (2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012)1 x Club World Cup (2014)
1 x World Cup (2010)2 x European Championship (2008, 2012)

The circumstances of his exit contrast greatly to the farewell Xavi was given by Barca earlier this summer, after 17 years with the European champions.

"I look at Iker and I have the feeling that lately he is playing under pressure, as if he has to prove what a great keeper he is in every match, without the joy he always had," said Xavi, 35, who has joined Qatari club Al Sadd.

"In recent years I have seen that he is not enjoying himself like before. He even seems bitter and I think everyone in this country should think about this.

"It cannot be that people neglect to value everything they have done for their sport and instead focus on their defects, sometimes with malicious intent."

Casillas, who had one year left on his contract, won three Champions Leagues and five La Liga titles with Real and holds the record for Spanish caps (162), winning two European Championships and the World Cup.

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