Iker Casillas has claimed every Real Madrid player should be treated like Alvaro Arbeloa at the end of their Santiago Bernabeu Stadium career, in what has been perceived as a dig at the way his own exit was handled by the Spanish giants.
The goalkeeper posted a video via his Facebook page on Sunday, in which he discussed Arbeloa's emotional farewell and standing ovation at the Bernabeu.
Per the MailOnline's Spencer Morgan, Casillas said:
Every player that plays at Real Madrid deserves these kind of goodbyes, with their team-mates, with the fans.
I'm grateful for everything he has given the team and I wish him all the best ahead of this new chapter in his life.
Alvaro was a product of the youth academy and had to go elsewhere to prove he had the necessary quality to return and play for Real Madrid.
As noted by Sport, Casillas' send-off consisted of a press conference in which he appeared alone, and it was only after criticism from fans and the media that Real organised a further farewell event and a photo call with the silverware he'd won at the club.
Here is the video he posted, in Spanish:
Arbeloa was brought off the bench in the 3-2 win over Valencia. The Mirror's Ed Malyon captured the scenes:
The full-back will leave Los Blancos after making over 200 appearances for the club across two spells, while former Madrid captain Casillas spent 25 years there with over 700 outings coming in his 16 seasons as a first-team player before moving to FC Porto last summer.
Both Morgan and Sport believe there is little room for interpretation in his words with the former describing the video as "clearly a thinly-veiled dig" at Real.
Indeed, sports journalist Elliott Cuff could scarcely believe the contrast in how the two players' exits had been handled by the club:
Arbeloa clearly harbours no grudges toward his former team-mate over the comments, though. Per Spanish radio show El Larguero (h/t AS), he insisted his relationship with Casillas is now repaired after the pair had a falling out at Madrid and thanked him for the message:
Fortunately I’m not someone who holds onto resentment. That’s something that can destroy you. My relationship with Casillas is one of mutual respect. I’m very grateful because he didn’t need to [post a message on Facebook]. He must have been compelled to send it himself because no one would have made him.
While the lack of fanfare Casillas received compared with Arbeloa does seem puzzling, the latter's more elaborate send-off could be a direct result of the negative press Los Blancos received regarding the former's exit last year.
Casillas' Porto have come a distant third in the Primeira Liga this season—something the stopper will look to help rectify next year as the club pursue Sporting Lisbon and Benfica.