Tag Archives: Spain

Former Real Madrid and Spain keeper calls it a day

As the well-known saying says, all good things must come to an end. That time has come for former Real Madrid and Spain legend Iker Casillas.

The 39-year-old goalkeeper has decided to hang up his gloves for good and will always be remembered for being somebody loved by the Spanish people.

During a 16-year career at the Bernabeu, he made 725 appearances for Real, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns.

He also helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and two successive European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Casillas joined Portuguese side Porto in 2015 making 156 appearances for them, winning two Primeira Liga titles and one Portuguese Cup.

Casillas played for the Spanish national side for six years winning 167 international caps. Only former team mate Sergio Ramos has made more appearances for Spain.

The Spaniard hasn’t played since April 2019 after suffering a heart attack during training. Considering his age and recent health issues it probably comes as no surprise he came to this eventual decision.

He joined Real Madrid at the tender age of nine and the club said recently he was the best goalkeeper in their 118-year history.

The 39-year-old currently holds the record for most Champions League clean sheets and was also part of the Real side that won the Champions League three times in his distinguished career.

To prove what a footballing legend he is, in 2014 he became one of four players to represent Spain at four World Cups. He was also named as the second-best goalkeeper of the 21st century, behind who else but Gianluigi Buffon.

But he will always be remembered by football lovers around the world for his time at Real Madrid. He is without doubt one of the finest keepers ever to play the game and somebody whom strikers at last will be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief that they don’t have to face him anymore.

What was do you think was Iker Casillas greatest moment of his historic career?

How crucial will David De Geas role at Manchester United be following his new contract signing?

Finally after a period of prolonged negotiations stretching roughly two years, the Spanish number one goalkeeper has signed a new deal at Manchester United this week until 2023.

This latest contract ensures that the Spanish international becomes the highest earner at the club, earning around £375,000 per week.

That in mind, it begs the question, how important will his role be in trying to get Manchester United back to competing again for premier league titles?

Following on from this, should he subsequently be made club captain?

Background and achievements to date

De Gea is currently one of the clubs longest serving players, having signed for The Red Devils back in 2011/12 from Atletico Madrid. The Spanish goalkeeper was scouted and hand picked as a replacement for veteran goalkeeper, Edwin Van Der Saar, by none other than legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

During that time he has played over 300 games for the club and has helped them win a Premier League title – which he considers to be his career highlight so far, a League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League crown.

In terms of individual achievements, De Gea is the only Manchester United player to date to win the prestigious Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award on four separate occasions.

Challenging Times

Following a difficult first season with Manchester United, up until the World Cup in Russia 2018, he was widely considered to be the World Best Goalkeeper alongside Bayern Munich and German international keeper, Manuel Neuer.

A standout performance that immediately comes to mind is the remarkable 3-0 win against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 2014. What made this performance so special is that it is the first time that I can remember a goalkeeper being made man of the match.

He has also been responsible for evolving the importance of the goalkeeper position by constantly making remarkable saves with his feet as well as using his remarkable hand reflexes.

The previous season however has shown that his standards have notably slipped following his poor performances for Spain in Russia. This was followed by the latter disappointing games for Manchester United. Most importantly, his below par performance against Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter-final second leg where Lionel Messi’s second goal came from a shot going through De Gea’s legs. There was a similar goal conceded against Chelsea in the league at Old Trafford.

What was also apparent was the low number of Manchester United clean sheets he kept throughout the season.  De Gea only managed seven in the league out of a possible 38 matches and conceded 54 goals.  This was almost twice the number of the 2017/18 campaign where he achieved 18 clean sheets and only let in 28 goals.

The most likely cause of this lack of confidence was due to his uncertain future at the club, and also his inability to recover from his average performances for Spain at last summer’s World Cup.

What next for De Gea and what role should he play for Manchester United?

Manchester United fans must now be hoping that following the resolution of De Gea’s future; he will begin to go back to his previous excellent form.

He does have a key role to play in helping form a “new, more solid spine of the team,” according to former club captain, Gary Neville.

De Gea is now one of the more experienced players at the club and as his current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer constantly stresses, “he is still one of the world best goalkeepers and holds him in the highest esteem at the club.”

Stats will show that this season De Gea has already managed to match the number clean sheets that he had at Old Trafford from last season (two).

This has been aided by the fact there has been a consistent centre back pairing in Harry Maguire and Victor Lindeloef, a luxury that he did not have in the last campaign.

I believe he should also be made captain, as he is now one of the few Manchester United players who have experienced winning a Premier League title, as well as being one of their most constant performers.

Not only that, but I also liked his answer on his approach to leading a team that he gave in his interview on Monday following the confirmation of his new contract, that also indicates a more positive attitude that should reflect in his performance over the coming months. De Gea said,

“I think that it’s important to have your say but, at the same time, not to go too far or say something to your team-mates in a bad-mannered way. I’m always a pretty calm character, but when something needs to be said, I will say it, especially out on the pitch where I think it’s most important, to give bits of advice to everyone.

To always try and help everyone out, especially the younger lads.  So yes like I say, to always help where possibly I can.”

Other Captain Contenders?

Current club captain, Ashley Young, is no longer a guaranteed first choice starter having moved behind both, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the full back pecking order.

While other long serving players such as Chris Smailing have gone on loan to Roma and, like with Ashley Young, Phil Jones is no longer a first choice defender.

New signing, Harry Maguire, while he has potential to be club captain, he has not been at the club for long enough.  There is also the added pressure of dealing with being the world’s most expensive defender.

The only other viable contenders at the moment for the captaincy that I can see are Juan Mata, who is not guaranteed to start every game, however he is widely considered to be a model professional and then there is the enigma that is Paul Pogba.

Conclusion: What does the future hold for the Spanish international?

In the short term, David De Gea will have his eyes on regaining his place as Spain’s number one goalkeeper from Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga as well as getting back to his high standards and performances that he produced for previous managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

One thing that is clearly apparent however, David De Gea has a crucial role to play in getting Manchester United back to where they feel they should be, that is competing for league titles over the coming years. 

Three goalkeepers that could replace De Gea at Man United?

I think I speak for the large majority of football fans when I say that David De Gea is one of the best keepers in world football if not the best. Since signing for Manchester United in 2011 De Gea has made 328 appearances and has cemented his place as Spains number one.

The one thing that De Gea hasn’t had since in recent times at United is a good defence and it may seem that the Spaniard is keen for a move away from Old Trafford. With his contract running out at the end of the season and clubs like PSG circling to snap up his services De Gea could be persuaded to make the move.


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho even admitted that De Gea could be on the move. Mourinho said: “I am not confident. I cannot find the word in English, but let’s see what happens.


“Only the club, David and his people can answer that. My comment is only that everyone knows how good he is, how important he is for Manchester United .


“If the club want to be better than it is and not worse, obviously it would be very important to keep David.”


With this in mind we have shortlisted three goalkeepers that United should go for if De Gea leaves.


Jan Oblak


Could Manchester United go back to the same club where they picked up De Gea from? They definitely should as the Slovenian goalkeeper has made a name for himself after keeping an incredible 99 clean sheets in 176 appearances. Granted it would be easier to keep a clean sheet with Godin in front of you than Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Should Jose go in for Oblak he wouldn’t come cheap but surely he would be worth the money?


Keylor Navas


Our next keeper is Costa Ricas number one and Real Madrid shot stopper Keylor Navas. In the summer Madrid brought in former Chelsea’s keeper Thibaut Courtois to take up the number one spot but Navas has proved a problem for the management team at Madrid who can’t pick between the two. Navas is a quality keeper who could provide some cover in the sticks should De Gea leave. The down side to Navas is in the fact of his age at 31 years of age is value won’t go up and his form could start to decline and also he just isn’t at De Gea’s level.


Jordan Pickford


England’s hero from the World Cup Jordan Pickford could be the man to fill the sticks at Old Trafford for the long term. The 24 year old keeper has established himself as both Everton and England number one after a string of brilliant performances. The main part of Pickfords game is his distribution, he could pick Lukaku out anywhere on the pitch whether he could control it is another question. Pickford would be have a heavy price tag but he will surely get much better as the years go on.


Should De Gea leave Old Trafford? Who would you get to replace him? Let us know in the comments section below.

Atlético de Madrid vs Chelsea Preview

The first Champions League game to be played at Atléti’s new home, the Wanda Metropolitano, will have one name on everybody’s lips, Diego Costa. On the verge of a move back to Spain, the for now Chelsea player will be in attendance for what should be a magnificent game of football.

With both teams almost fully fit, with only Drinkwater missing for the Blues and Kevin Gameiro out for Atlético, the two sides should produce a brilliant game between Europe’s elite.

After one match, it’s the Londoners who top Group C with the 6-0 drubbing of Qarabag, while Atléti were held to a 0-0 draw away to AS Roma. Domestically, both teams are in the form of dreams. The home side haven’t lost domestically since Villarreal scored a single goal against them in April, meanwhile the visitors haven’t claimed a defeat since the home loss to Burnley on the first day of the season.

Ones to watch will be Carrasco and Angel Correa, both on three goals for the campaign. However, Atlético’s star Antoine Griezmann can never be one to ignore, especially in Europe, who is now Los Rojiblancos’ all time leading scorer in European competitions. For Chelsea, who can look past former employee of Atlético’s bitter rivals Real Madrid, Alvaro Morata. Hot from his weekend’s hat-trick at the Bet365 Stadium, he will be looking to come back to Spain and leave three points and a few goals richer.

Aside from the attack, both defences are solid, with Atléti only conceding four in seven in all competitions so far this campaign, and goalkeeper Jan Oblak has made 17 saves so far in La Liga. While in England, since that Burnley defeat, the Blues have only conceded three goals in all contests.

So who will win? Will attack beat defence? It’s a battle of the best. Who can guess matches like these

Sheffield Wednesday should look to sign this free Italian agent

Sheffield Wednesday have had a disappointing start to the new Championship season as they have only picked up 1 win in their opening 5 games. 

Last season following the clubs play-off semi final defeat to Huddersfield Town, the club back their manager Carlos Carvalhal as he was handed a new contract with the Yorkshire outfit.

The ‘Owls’ board also gave the club money to spend in the window as Carvalhal bought in 3 new signings. Joost van Aken joined from SC Heerenveen, and Frederico Venancio and Jacob Butterfield joined on loan from Vitoria Setubal and Derby County respectively.

The deal to bring Butterfield to Hillsborough saw striker Sam Winnall go in the opposite direction and join Derby on a season long loan deal.

With the ‘Owls’ letting Winnall join Derby and the fact that the club have only scored 4 goals in their opening 5 fixtures the club should turn to Italian free agent Guiseppe Rossi.

Giuseppe Rossi –  After playing for Celta Vigo last season whilst on loan from Fiorentina, the Italian managed to find the back on 6 occasions in all competitions, before his season was cut short by an injury which he is expected to have recovered from in the coming weeks.

He has been at his most prolific whilst in La Liga as he has scored 64 goals and provided 20 assists in his 170 games, and if Sheffield Wednesday and Carlos Carvalhal were to take a chance on the striker, the club would be getting a quick left footed striker who is known for his goal scoring and creativity and could prove a useful addition for the club.

Sheffield Wednesday fans do you need another striker? Would Rossi would be good addition to your squad? Let us know in the comments section…