Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/24/12
Real-madrid-training
Maybe Iker Casillas was sending a secret message. That’s the only explanation we can offer for his choice of fashion. The Real Madrid icon was benched for the first time in over a decade on Saturday. He wore a pair of thigh-high, red-and-black-striped socks as he watched his team slump to a 3-2 defeat against Malaga. No offense to fans of Brazilians club Flamengo, but Casillas’ socks were downright hideous. Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho started goalkeeper Antonio Adan instead of Casillas. There was reportedly little the 25-year-old backup could do to stop Malaga’s first and third goals, but he was said to be at fault for the second. Rumors are rife that there is a rift between the Portuguese manager and several influential figures at the Spanish club, including its captain and star goalkeeper Casillas. Many thought benching Casillas was the result of a personality clash, but Mourinho denies those charges, according to Football Espana. “[Leaving Casillas out] was purely a technical decision,” Mourinho said. “I analyzed the situation and chose the team. You can try and invent whatever you want, but it was a purely technical decision.” Mourinho’s decision sent shockwaves around the dressing room, Real Madrid’s fanbase and the wider soccer world. Casillas discussed the situation on Sunday, choosing to simultaneously take the high road and refer to himself in the third person (if that’s at all possible). “The coach decides which team he thinks is best for each match and you need to accept the decision,” FIFA.com reports Casillas told La Sexta Television. “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. “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.” It came as no surprise to the World and European champion when he was omitted from the starting lineup. “Throughout the week I could sense that I wasn’t going to play but it’s not a setback,” he added. “The important thing was that the team won in Malaga to cut the gap to Barça and Atletico. Mourinho didn’t explain anything to me. He doesn’t do it when I play, nor when I don’t.” Real Madrid’s season has been torpedoed by crisis and conflict. The defending La Liga champion heads into the winter break trailing FC Barcelona by 16 points, and winning the UEFA Champions League is the only thing that can salvage what is almost certainly Mourinho’s final season at the club. It’s hard to think that benching Casillas will restore peace and harmony to the dressing room. But how can Casillas’ suspect fashion sense help him regain the manager’s confidence. It seems like a vicious cycle that can only end one way: with Mourinho jumping ship and Casillas getting a wardrobe makeover. Have a look at those socks below. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag. Photo via Twitter/@MessiCR7Neymar

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

Sheldon Richardson says Jets locker room is better without Brandon Marshall

What's next for the Spurs?

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker