Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas on Monday reiterated his wish to someday play in Major League Soccer.
“I have no problem of saying that I would like to play in the U.S.,” Casillas told The Wall Street Journal, although he didn’t indicate any timetable for his departure. “This has been a tough past year and a half, but it has made me tougher mentally.”
The 33-year=old Casillas is under contract at Real under 2017 and he has openly signalled his intentions to not look for a new deal at the Bernabeu, and said MLS is the perfect option because he
“could never play for a team that competed against Real Madrid.”
Casillas is a Spanish legend who has played his entire career for Real Madrid, with his debut coming at age 16.
“At the club level, Real Madrid winning lifted a huge burden,” he told WSJ. “We’d been 12 years without winning [Champions League] and we’re lucky that we’ve won many titles recently when there had been 30 or so years when Real Madrid hadn’t won. That took the pressure off us and helped us move forward.”
The earliest then that we could expect to see King Iker in MLS is the 2017 season, when he will be 36. Many top goalkeepers have played past this age, Gianluigi Buffon for example is 36, so it is quite conceivable that Casillas could come and play at high level for two or three seasons in MLS.
U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said bringing a player of Casillas’ caliber would be a boost for the league.
“Where we are now is we have our national-team players here, and quality Latin players have always been in the league, but the category that has grown most is the name players that are coming,” Gulati told WSJ.
Do you agree with Gulati? Would signing a 36-year-old Iker Casillas be a good move by MLS?