'I'm better than Casillas and you know it' - Diego Lopez furious at being forced out of Real Madrid

The Galician goalkeeper is leaving the Spanish side to join AC Milan, but is unhappy at how he was treated by the club where he started his professional career as a 19-year-old
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Diego Lopez was furious at being forced out of Real Madrid and told club directors before agreeing an imminent move to AC Milan: "I'm the best goalkeeper here and you know it."

Milan's Twitter channel confirmed the switch on Saturday, bringing to an end a goalkeeping saga which has lasted more than 18 months.

Bought by former coach Jose Mourinho after Iker Casillas was injured in January of last year, the Galician remained first choice for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, before sharing the responsibilities with the club captain last term.

Lopez then rejected a move to Monaco last summer in order to fight for his place at Madrid and was rewarded as he was chosen by goalkeeping coach Villiam Vecchi as the man to start in La Liga in 2013-14.

But Madrid came third in the Primera Division, while winning the two competitions in which Casillas started - the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Nevertheless, Iker's poor performances at the World Cup gave Lopez renewed hope he would be first choice in the coming campaign and the Galician was prepared for a three-way fight for a starting spot with Casillas and summer signing Keylor Navas.

                      UNLUCKY NUMBER | Navas' arrival meant there was no room for Lopez at Real

Lopez's agent, Manuel Garcia Quillon, insisted his client would stay at Madrid, but the club had other ideas and alarms bells sounded for the 32-year-old as he was surprisingly substituted at half-time for youngster Jesus Fernandez (who has since moved to Levante) in the Champions Cup against Inter late last month.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti later confirmed that Casillas would start in the Uefa Super Cup against Sevilla on Tuesday and Lopez was told he had no future at the Spanish side. Seemingly, he had been punished by his association with Mourinho and the fact that the club have ended up without a trophy in all of the competitions he played for Real (Liga, Copa and Champions League in 2012-13 and the Primera Division again in 2013-14). Lopez is unhappy at the treatment by the club he originally joined as a 19-year-old and told Madrid directors on the flight back from their pre-season tour of United States last week: "I'm the best goalkeeper at the club and you know it - but do what you like..."

The former Villarreal and Sevilla shot-stopper was then encouraged to accept offers this summer, with Madrid opting to bite the bullet and pay the remainder of his contract - which ran until 2017 - at around €12 million in total in order to dispense with the former Spanish international.

AC Milan then moved to sign Lopez after Monaco's interest cooled and the Galician goalkeeper is expected to sign a four-year contract after undergoing a medical in Italy on Monday.

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