The relationship between
Vicente del Bosque
(Salamanca, 69 years old) and
(Móstoles, 39 years old) is similar to that of a father and a son.
The coach-coach adopted the boy-soccer player in 1990, when he was about to turn nine, at the Ciudad Deportiva del Real Madrid, and with brief parentheses they lived together until 2016. Then Iker, already a doctorate
, had to say goodbye to the selection.
Since that Euro Cup they had seen each other, but they had not met.
They had never spoken looking into the eyes of the disagreement caused by the substitution of the goalkeeper.
Someday it had to be and it was Thursday with EL PAÍS as a witness.
Hand to hand.
The two alone.
Vicente del Bosque.
I see you in shape Iker, how are you?
Sara, the children ...?
After a year and a half [after the heart attack] I am finding the Iker I was before.
The airs of Portugal, near Salamanca, his land, are good.
Sara, also very good, and the children at school.
I'm excited to be with you.
They were many years together.
You came to Madrid in 1990 and in 1999 to the first team.
He was just nine years old.
I got to the social tournament where the first team players gave names to the teams.
I went to a test in September.
We played a game and they told us to wait until January 91, when the social tournament began.
Antonio Mezquita, an endearing coach of the house, made a preselection for the Meudon tournament in Paris.
We lost the final against Benfica on penalties.
That's where it all started.
That Madrid that you know better than I was very familiar.
As a club it would not have the greatness of now, but it was a family.
You have known the poverty of that time, that Sports City with all its deficiencies, and also the Madrid of abundance, Valdebebas, the galactics ...
Any kid today that you tell him we played on dirt pitches won't believe it.
Now everyone is training on artificial grass, hybrids ...
Is there a before and after in the club since the Ciudad Deportiva disappeared?
I was sorry.
Every time I see the four towers, now almost five, I get nostalgic.
But everything has gotten better and has evolved so that the children have better conditions.
I from that Sports City, besides you, of course, I remember Don Alfredo [Di Stéfano] and Camacho.
When Juanito died he was in infant A. I passed almost all the categories two by two.
I have such a good memory because I don't want to forget that.
I can forget the day to day, but not my childhood.
I fight for it.
You have been lucky and it is good that you do not forget.
Children have to have dreams ...
It's what kids have to understand.
The reality is not that a player wins a Champions League or a World Cup.
I am privileged.
You have to be good, be lucky and I had it at specific moments.
Even once you didn't like that it went up so fast ...
We didn't want you to go up to a higher-level team and not play.
In my position it was good to be conservative, but also to have that point to break the logical process that you, Raúl, Guti broke… You had to be risky with those of you who had the talent to play higher.
We took steps forward.
Don't be mean, man ...
I'm not complaining, I tell it.
I was also ashamed to train and play with teammates three and four years older.
must highlight the efforts of families.
Your father took you every day.
It was a silent follow-up.
They protected you from silence.
I don't think I ever spoke to your father.
They were not the same roads, nor the same transport.
That's what people don't see.
He sees everything I have won, but not that for eight years my father would take the car and take me from Móstoles.
And he never got into anything.
I don't want it to sound arrogant, all the coaches told my father that he was good, that he was going to become a Madrid goalkeeper.
He knew it was good, but he didn't want to confuse me.
He was stricter, it may be because he was a Civil Guard.
He had me at bay.
I've always lived with praise.
In 21 years that we have been together there has been everything.
Many great things, but I want to face the bad ones naturally too.
One was in the 2001-02 academic year, when we put César ...
That was when Fernando [Hierro] and you lined up to take me away ...
No, no ... It's not true, it's not true.
, don't get so serious, I'm kidding ... But it wasn't just that season, the previous one I didn't play the last few months either and Cesar played.
We won the League.
Every year I played something ...
As bad as breaking your rhythm was, there are always good things.
It's not apologizing.
We are not here for it.
No mister, no… I always lived with the competition.
I got along well with Cesar.
It was key that we were together, although he was also bloody, and I told him [smiles].
Those four years at Madrid were fantastic.
In four years we won nine titles.
Let's switch to selection.
You have been very important, with stops that helped us win everything we won.
We have been part of something that is very difficult to repeat.
We did not imagine that it could be so beautiful.
But we had a good team and a sensational group.
We had an extraordinary winning tendency and the previous fatality that was installed in the selection was broken.
We turned our own situation around.
Until then we looked with great respect to the other teams.
We went from being afraid that rivals would have it for us.
When they played against us they knew they could make a fool of themselves.
In the middle of your career you suffer a delicate situation with a faction of Real Madrid, promoted or encouraged by the coach [Mourinho \].
It was very painful for any Real Madrid player that a kid like you came out of the quarry was criticized by a part of Real Madrid, not all, of course.
For me it was as incredible as it was painful.
It was a minimal part of the younger and more voracious madridismo.
I didn't understand it.
Instead of thinking that the rest applauded me and was proud of me ... With the passage of time I have realized that all those people who criticized me can continue to do so, but there are others who continue to idolize you and love me more still for all that has happened.
If I look back, I don't have to ask for forgiveness.
It is forgotten.
After what happened to me a year and a half ago, I see it as an anecdote.
Do you also make it relative that in 2016 we made the decision, good or bad, not to play the Eurocup?
Are you so serious
… We will talk about that later without the cameras, ha ha ha.
No, we talk about it now.
The figure of the three goalkeepers in the selection was extraordinary.
highlight Víctor [Valdés] and Pepe [Reina].
I played and enjoyed more.
They behaved well with me.
Victor was an introverted boy who little by little gave you confidence.
A professional of 10.
In 2014 we continue with the same ones because you were at a maximum level.
Holland's break of the day [1-5 at the World Cup in Brazil] was one of the few times you spoke up to lift your spirits.
Did not give credit.
We couldn't have that ending, it was too cruel for our generation.
Losing two games and staying there for four days to play the third.
Four exemplary days on your part, for knowing how to accept defeat.
Exemplars yes, but the strange thing was losing those first two games.
And 2016 arrives with everyone asking for changes and with the utmost respect for those of you who have been, we gave way to De Gea.
An absolutely sporty decision.
Successful or not.
It was hard for you, for me and for everyone.
Yes, it was.
I remember talking with you, with Miñano, with Toni Grande [from the
I don't know if I'll be wrong, and I've always said it fondly, but sometimes you have to pick up the player and talk to him.
'Hey Iker, this is happening.'
Yes, we are all the same, but I think I had earned respect for him to lose five minutes with me and he would have said to me the day before: 'Iker, you know that David [De Gea] starts tomorrow.
For this, for this and for this.
Because now is the opportunity and the moment. '
I could have felt bad or good, surely I would have felt bad, but I would have had an explanation and I would have accepted it.
But of course, you get there, you are competing, you are the guy with the most international appearances, the captain, with you for so long ... And I get to the talk and I find out that I don't play.
Well, I feel bad, really.
Well, look, it was possibly because I always carried to the maximum expression that you have to make decisions without giving explanations.
If you give them, you fall into falsehood and we have always acted as we believed we had to do.
It was impossible ... What do you want me to have told you ...?
You don't play for that, for that ... Impossible.
Soccer players when we are playing are selfish.
We always look out for ourselves.
It is a collective sport but you look at the individual.
If I look back, I think that I should not have acted the same when I left Real Madrid or on selection day and have accepted more the role, the role of the veteran.
And to think that De Gea came very hungry, eager and had already shown the quality that he has.
But at that moment ...
It was difficult and painful for us too.
But we did it from the purely sports aspect.
The same as in Madrid when we put César on.
And there was nothing against you.
If I have had favorites, you have been those from the quarry above all.
The good thing is that after having that misunderstanding or scuffle we managed to talk again.
I remember a time when you didn't play for Madrid, but you always came with us, and you told me a phrase that I will never forget: '
, count on me to be the third goalkeeper.
I want to keep coming to the national team. '
Until the last moment you were with us.
At least we don't leave you out of any list.
I have no complaints and now looking at it from the perspective of 2020, four years later and at 39 years old, I see it differently.
The truth is that you have had an impressive journey.
You were never one more.
You have always been very important within our group, with performances that have given us titles.
I do not know if I am touched by a magic wand, I do not know if my qualities have also accompanied.
But since I started I knew I was going to make the first team and I knew I was going to achieve great things.
Now it's easy to say, but I had that aspiration and that peace of mind that it was going to happen.
They say that everything that happens, agrees.
That is the phrase that I have always heard him the most.
After everything that has happened to me, the most important thing, the most important thing, is health.
At the time I had to be grateful that he happened to me where it happened to me, which was on the soccer field.
Where was it going to be!
The doctor was quick.
I came out unscathed.
I am 99 percent recovered.
I see things differently, not like when I was sad or dejected before.
"I am excited about the Ballon d'Or for goalkeepers"
De Bosque is no stranger to the present time and is aware that his disciple is nominated for the Ballon d'Or for the best goalkeeper in history by the magazine 'France Football'.
He asks Iker Casillas if he ever thought he could have won it and wishes he can do it now.
Iker's gesture is significant.
“I did not win it at the time and I have to admit that it is an issue that excites me and I like it.
I am proud that my name can be with all those goalkeepers, the best in history.
It is incredible for me to be next to them.
I couldn't think about it 30 years ago, even though I always thought I would go high ”.
Banks, N'Kono, Buffon, Schmeichel, Van der Sar, Maier, Yashin, Neuer and Zoff will compete with Iker.
Is there anything left for us to talk about?
No, we have already talked about when he cleaned me from the goal, in the national team and in Madrid.
He hit me with a puff of noses ...
It was a temporary smoke.
You also have to be considerate of others ...
The first year he changed me, I said 'well, it's good for me, I'm 20 years old and that's how I learn'.
The second year he did the same to me again and I already said, 'well this now ... This becomes a routine.
I'm going to have to find a solution… '.
I was not very fussy or superstitious.
I have known how to listen.
The players must be inspiring of the coach, but up to a point.
That point should be known by the coach.
That is the border.
It is not the same to say
is that if we play like this or like this ... '.
Something that can be good for the player, but never that he has to play so-and-so.
Not that anymore.
That is not tolerable.
If you do something that a player has told you, you cannot enter the locker room the next day.
You are ashamed.
At least to me.
The truth is that we had a good time.
And if I have to stay with a beautiful stage in which I enjoyed everything, it was from 1999 to 2003. Those four years with you at Real Madrid were at the beginning of my career, but they were the ones I enjoyed the most.
You have forgotten to be president of the Spanish Federation.
But it was not the time.
"Puyi wanted to give me two milks, and I him"
Between April and May 2011, the storm of all storms in Spanish football unleashed.
Real Madrid and Barcelona challenged each other four times in 18 days, with the League, a Cup final and the semi-finals of the Champions at stake.
With José Mourinho on fire, both classic at the stake ended up muddying the relations between the internationals, until then fluid by the coexistence of some of the praetorians of each side from the lower categories, in the case of Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernández.
Two lifelong friends - U-20 world champions in Nigeria 99 - who had to put out the stake before it was too late.
On the Madrid side, not all factions applauded the conciliatory role of Captain Casillas.
There is a matter that we have not touched.
The moment of those clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2011 and that nuisance that was prepared for us in the selection between the players of both teams ...
We were not prepared for those four games in such a short space of time.
We played a lot.
Those four games marked Spanish football and everything that surrounded us.
It came to have a political magnitude.
If Barcelona won, it was as if Catalonia was above Madrid.
But in the national team we have never had conflicts with the shirts.
Or to be born in Madrid or to be born in Catalonia.
No, but in the two friendly matches we played in 2011, the feeling was that they didn't breathe the same.
The atmosphere was no longer the same.
In fact, we were not well.
Our relationship with Xavi, with Puyol ... Between the players of Real Madrid and Barça we did not have the same affinity that we had before.
We recovered it after almost eight months, almost a year later.
But we got out of it unscathed.
It was a concrete event and then your participation and that of Xavi Hernández was decisive to fix it.
Sure, solutions had to be found and peace of mind returned.
We were getting a little bit already ...
It was detrimental to you individually.
They were episodes that were not edifying.
The opposite of what it had to be.
You, by what you mean, have to transfer the best behaviors and at that time you did not transfer them.
If you fix it, you have to feel proud.
We would not have achieved what we achieved later.
If we had not closed that situation, we would not have won the Eurocup in Kiev in 2012.
I think the locker room was poisoned by external influences.
Not from within, really.
We were not to blame, but we took the conflict to the national team.
In the locker room, you can smell that.
We saw that the relationship was not the same.
Puyi, with whom I take a phenomenon, told me.
He even told me that there was a moment when he wanted to get up and give me two milks.
And I said, that's it, I know ... And me too ...
I did not position myself with one or the other.
I stayed absolutely neutral.
I didn't blame anyone on the inside.
I boast of saying that we have never looked at the color of the jersey of the players who have come to the national team, nor where they were born.
And that worked for us.
I have hardly ever heard of politics in the national team.
Punctually, if anything ... Maybe between you you did, but in front of me, you rarely did.
That's because he didn't hang out with Gerard [Piqué] at night.
If not ... It drove us crazy.
If you talk about Gerard, we have been 114 games and in all those that he has been, the relationship has been fantastic in every way.
And besides, he looked around the team.
He put his worth and his way of being at the service.
We had no problem.
Neither with him nor with anyone.
is a good boy.
That's true, there were never any problems with either.
Also, in that locker room, if someone at a certain moment had done something, we would have jumped quickly to calm our spirits and be calm.
Thanks for everything, Iker.
I have already seen him as a quarry trainer, as a coach, as a coach and now in his section of EL PAÍS.
No, I look nice, but in the dressing room I transform "
Casillas is considering joining Real Madrid, although it is not yet clear what his role would be.
At the moment, already installed in Madrid with his family, he attends commitments and plays paddle tennis.
Don't you want to be a coach?
No, no, I don't have that endurance, that patience.
I give the image of a nice boy, a nice boy and such, but I transform myself into the dressing room.
I would be more useful in training.
Training the youngest boys, those who start.
A bit the role that you had 30 years ago in the sports city and we were training and you put yourself behind.
I will get the title to learn more, because I like soccer.
I would try to convey to people being who I have been in the world of football and convince young people of where you can get there with effort, enthusiasm.
And let them know that the first day you can't have a Rolls on your doorstep.
That this is progressive and you have to suffer a lot.
Show that the reality is the colleagues who are working as taxi drivers, in a construction site, as lawyers ...