Casillas: Diego Lopez deserved Real Madrid starting berth

The Spain international feels his team-mate's performances merited a spot as the club's first-choice goalkeeper, despite suggestions that he was keep in for political reasons
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has admitted that he understands Jose Mourinho's decision not to drop Diego Lopez from the starting XI last season.

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The 32-year-old missed a large part of the second half of the 2012-13 campaign after first being dropped at Christmas and then picking up a hand injury on his return to the side in the new year.

Mourinho moved to sign Diego Lopez in light of the injury and Casillas had to settle for a spot on the bench for the remainder of the campaign, leading to a conflict between the Spain international and the now Chelsea manager.

"Diego Lopez was superb and he deserved to continue playing. He had a brilliant season," Casillas told Marca.

"He is a fantastic person and a great goalkeeper."

Casillas has made over 650 official appearances for Madrid since making his first team debut in 1999-2000.