Originally written 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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

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

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

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