Real Madrid Goalkeeper Iker Casillas Benched for First Match in 10 Years

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIDecember 22, 2012

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been kept off the field for reasons unrelated to injury for the first time in a decade. As a result, Antonio Adan will start against Malaga. 

Total Barça’s Alexandra Jonson noted Madrid manager Jose Mourinho’s astounding decision via Twitter.

Casillas on the bench for technical reasons for the first time in 10 years

— Alexandra Jonson (@AlexandraJonson) December 22, 2012

Casillas has been one of the most reliable and consistent goalkeepers for the 10-year stretch in which he has been Madrid’s unquestioned first-choice shot-stopper. During this time, Casillas has also played an instrumental role in helping Spain hoist trophies at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

His remarkable success has earned him the reputation as the best goalkeeper on the planet, but he has not helped maintain that reputation recently.

Madrid has struggled to start this campaign, and Casillas’ form has not been up to the standard he's set throughout his illustrious career.

Jose Mourinho’s team already had three draws and three defeats heading into this weekend’s game, and the manager finally reached his breaking point and decided to explore his other options at goalkeeper.

At 31 years old, Casillas’ disappointing play may be due to his age, but it is certainly possible that this shocking move will motivate him to return to playing at a dominant level. 

Adan is a 25-year-old product of the Madrid youth system, and this will be the most important match of his career as it could earn him more playing time going forward this season.

Madrid will also need to come away with full points against fourth-place Malaga in order to hold on to any shred of hope to catch Barcelona atop the La Liga table.

The headlines surrounding Casillas are sure to continue after his benching, and Madrid’s situation at goalkeeper will have a significant impact on the team’s campaign.