Both Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes have been Goalkeeping icons at their clubs. Aswell as this, they have been regulars in the Spanish Squad during its ‘Golden years’. Real Madrid Keeper Casillas has been the Man in Goals for Spain, when they lifted two European Championships and of course the World Cup. Despite not being to oust Casillas at National level, Valdes has had the upper hand over the last few years in terms of La Liga titles and has been in the Barca side which has won multiple Champions Leagues. However, all will change in the summer. The Former has grown fed up with not being his clubs First Choice Keeper and the latter has announced his intentions to leave for pastures new.
When Carlo Anclote took over as Real Madrid manager last summer, it was expected that Iker Casillas would be his Captain and Goalkeeper. However, the ex-Chelsea boss went with Diego Lopez (Experienced, also Spanish Keeper). His decision, whilst a surprise to begin with, has been vindicated. Goalkeepers will always make a mistake here or there, but Lopez has hardly put a foot wrong and also made some impressive saves at times. He has looked assured, even with Madrid’s at times erratic Defence. Watching on won’t have been easy for Casillas, but as long as Real are doing well, you have to think he will put that to the front of his mind. His International Career has started to be a topic of conversation however, with the World Cup later in the year. So far he has been shown faith for Spain, but with Barca-regular Valdes and even David De Gea creeping up now, his lack of Club games will be a concern. It will be a big summer in Brazil for him, but also a decision on his future at Madrid. The one-club man may have to venture abroad.
As for Victor Valdes, it’s a slightly different situation. He is still very much the regular Keeper at Barcelona. However, this summer will see him leave under freedom of contract – a decision he had made some time ago. At first, it was thought a change of mind would be in the offing, but the hierarchy at Barca have admitted his choice is final. There should be plenty of options for him out there, even in England. He has never really been appreciated by the media in this county, but has actually been one of Barca’s unsung heroes for the last few years. If Arsenal’s season has its usual meltdown, he may be an option for Arsine Wenger ahead of the erratic Woijiech Sczsency. The other English option may be Man City, depending on how Joe Hart does until the end of the season. So far, nothing is sure however. Big sending Ligue 1 Monaco are the only side to show a genuine interest.
Whatever happens with both, it is likely to be their last big decision in Football. Heading into the final part of their career, it would be a shame to see their proven talent go to waste somewhere. Both will always be remembered at Real and Barcelona however, no matter where they go now.