Madrid, July 16 (IANS) New Real Madrid head coach Rafael Benitez has paid rich tributes to outgoing veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas describing him as “a living legend at Real Madrid”.
Casiilas joined Portuguese side FC Porto after spending 25 years at Real Madrid, rising through the ranks to become one of the best goalkeepers of his generation.
“Iker is a living legend at Real Madrid and the best goalkeeper in the club’s history,” Benitez said in an interview with Realmadrid TV on Wednesday.
“I wish him success, I hope that everything goes really well for him and that he enjoys being at a great club and in a great city.”
Real Madrid have embarked on a tour of Australia for pre-season training. The team’s tour will allow Benitez to form first impressions about his players, and to evaluate the fitness of star striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He’s a fundamental player for us. It’s great that he’s here with all the group,” he said.
Benitez said that one of the tour’s objectives is to speak to Ronaldo “so that the team can make the most of everything he has to offer.”
In addition, he said that he wanted take advantage of the first phase of the pre-season period in Australia: “Pre-seasons are there to work, to get to know each other, and the conditions we have are good.”
“It’s a spectacular place, despite the climate. Although, having coached in England, I like it when the pitches are quick. I want Real Madrid to be Real Madrid,” he added.
“I want us to be a team that go out to win every game, that takes the initiative, assert themselves in attack and defend well. We have to achieve balance to win more games and have a greater chance of winning trophies,” he elaborated.