sport

Casillas denies Mourinho rift

Iker Casillas insists he has no issue with Jose Mourinho's decision to leave him out of Real Madrid's line-up against Malaga on Saturday.

Mourinho caused a major stir after choosing to start with back-up goalkeeper Antonio Adan for the Primera Division clash at La Rosaleda in place of captain and long-serving number one Casillas.

Mourinho said after the match, which Madrid lost 3-2 to slump 16 points behind leaders Barcelona, that his decision was "purely technical".

Speaking ahead of a charity match in Madrid, Casillas told La Sexta television: "The coach decides which team he thinks is best for each match and you need to accept the decision.

"I'm not used to being a substitute, but above Iker Casillas or any player is the team. What I need to do is continue training and try to recover the confidence of the coach."

Casillas, who has won a host of titles with Madrid and captained Spain to the World Cup and back-to-back European Championships, added: "I feel good, but it is the coach who decides who plays. It will be a nice battle with Antonio. There is a healthy rivalry between us.

"Throughout the week I could sense that I wasn't going to play but it's not a setback. The important thing was that the team won in Malaga to cut the gap to Barca and Atletico.

"Mourinho didn't explain anything to me. He doesn't do it when I play, nor when I don't."

Mourinho, meanwhile, insists he does not regret dropping Casillas for the match.

Speaking after arriving at Lisbon airport on Sunday, the Portuguese coach was quoted as saying by AS newspaper: "Casillas? I have a clear conscience. I try to choose the best team for every game."