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Casillas' peace pacts with Barca irked Mourinho at Real Madrid says Bosque

Spain coach Del Bosque dwells on the reason for the goalkeeper's fallout with the Real coach.

Iker Casillas, the Spain captain, has been left on the bench at his club Real Madrid by Jose Mourinho and continues to be so under Carlo Ancelotti, Mourinho's successor. Juan Hidalgo / EPA
Iker Casillas, the Spain captain, has been left on the bench at his club Real Madrid by Jose Mourinho and continues to be so under Carlo Ancelotti, Mourinho's successor. Juan Hidalgo / EPA

MADRID // The goalkeeper Iker Casillas lost his place in Real Madrid's team under Jose Mourinho because he helped calm the waters between the Spanish internationals at his club and at Barcelona, according to Vicente del Bosque, the national coach.

Several matches between the two clubs during the combative Mourinho's stint in Spain were marred by brawling, accusations of refereeing bias and play-acting although more recent meetings have been less controversial.

"It's true that in difficult moments for the national team, when the Real-Barca matches got a little strange, [Casillas] … helped the team to move on and continue winning things like the European Championship," Del Bosque told radio station Onda Cero.

"This did not go down well and perhaps had a detrimental effect also on Iker," added the former Real coach. "He was a key figure in fostering harmony in the national team."

The tension reached a low point in August 2011 when Mourinho, who returned three months ago for a second spell at Chelsea, jabbed a finger in the eye of the Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova as fighting erupted during a Spanish Super Cup game.

Real's Spain contingent, including Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, appeared to fall out with the Barca internationals like Xavi and Carles Puyol, prompting concern it could affect the national team's performances. Casillas, the Real and Spain captain, sought to ease the tension by meeting Xavi and Puyol, and Del Bosque suggested this had contributed to Mourinho's decision last season to replace his captain with Diego Lopez, despite public outrage.

Even under the new Real coach, Carlo Ancelotti, Casillas has been left on the bench this season.

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