Madrid - Real Madrid have decided to give departing
goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas an official send-off later on Monday
following criticism over the low-key nature of his tearful farewell news
conference on Sunday.
Casillas, who is leaving his boyhood club after 16 seasons
in the first team to join Porto, appeared alone at the Bernabeu press room and
choked up several times as he read out a statement thanking the club for
"giving me everything".
The contrast with his close friend and former Spain team
mate Xavi Hernandez was telling and prompted widespread criticism in the
Spanish media that Real had not treated their club legend with sufficient
Xavi, 35, left Barcelona for Qatari side Al Sadd at the end
of last season and was given a series of rousing send-offs by fans, officials
and team mates at the Nou Camp surrounded by family and friends and a
glittering array of trophies.
Also read: Casillas ends Real career
Real president Florentino Perez and Casillas will appear on
the VIP tribune at the Bernabeu at 1100 GMT, Real said in a statement on their
website (www.realmadrid.com). They did not say whether fans would be allowed
into the stadium.
Casillas spoke on Sunday after Spanish daily newspaper El
Mundo published an interview with his parents in which they said their son had
been forced out of the club by Perez.
Casillas had been the victim of an orchestrated campaign of
"vilification" in recent years which eventually prompted his decision
to quit, they said.
Real did not respond to a request for comment and Casillas
did not take questions after making his statement, in which he did not mention
Perez by name.
Casillas's decision to leave Real is believed to have been
partly motivated by the expected arrival of Manchester United's David De Gea,
the 24-year-old former Atletico Madrid man who is also being groomed to take
over as Spain keeper.
Regular playing time for Porto should allow Casillas to
extend his international career at least until next year's European
Championship in France.For
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