'If Casillas isn't a starter then no one is safe' - Caballero

The 31-year-old remains surprised by the Spain international's predicament at club level and is determined to win his first call-up for Argentina
By Adrian Boullosa

Malaga's Willy Caballero says no goalkeeper is safe in light of Iker Casillas's troubles at Real Madrid.

The Argentine has watched on with interest at events unfolding in Madrid, with Diego Lopez preferred to the Spain international under Jose Mourinho last season and new Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti so far this term.

The 31-year-old remains convinced that Casillas is still one of the game's finest between the posts and admitted it was strange to line up against a different goalkeeper the last time Malaga and Madrid locked horns.

"It was weird to play against Real and not have Casillas in front of us," Caballero told Goal.

"Diego Lopez is doing great and I can't say anything but good words about Casillas. He is a great keeper and he has proved it with his club, with the national team and wherever he has played.

"He has been and he still is the best. It's time for him to be on the bench though. I can only send him my support and... if Casillas is not a starter, we all have to do everything we can to keep our place. No one is safe."

Caballero made 45 appearances last season as Malaga embarked on their maiden Champions League campaign, while finishing sixth in La Liga.

However, financial troubles and a lack of European football this term saw los Boquerones lose three of their star players, Isco, Martin Demichelis and Joaquin this summer, as well as coach Manuel Pellegrini to Manchester City.

"Of course we're going to miss them (Isco, Pellegrini, Demichelis or Joaquin), just like we did with (Santi) Cazorla, (Salomon) Rondon or (Nacho) Monreal," he added.

"We miss them because of their skills on the pitch and also because of the things we share in the locker room. Everyone of them left because of professional reasons though. For instance, Isco is playing for Real Madrid and he is doing awesome."

Despite his reputation as one of the best keepers in La Liga, Caballero is yet to be capped by Argentina and he revealed he is still confident of representing his country, while ruling out the prospect of leaving Malaga - despite interest from other clubs.

He said: "I do think I had a great season but I didn't receive the call. All I can do is keep the same level and that's how I can get that (Alejandro) Sabella call for a knockout or a game. I have no doubt I can wear the Argentinian jersey. I can be a good keeper for the national team and I am hungrier than anyone.

"It's been an intense summer. Even more for my agent than for me. There have been calls and offers, but my intention and Malaga's is to stay here. Malaga counted on me and they didn't want to sell me."