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The 32-year-old has been second choice to Diego Lopez for most of the year but he says that the club have treated him well and that he wants to stay in the Spanish capital

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has played down the significance of his recent struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu, claiming the club is more important than any individual.

The Spain international fell out of favour under former coach Jose Mourinho midway through last season and has continued to play second fiddle to Diego Lopez since the arrival of new boss Carlo Ancelotti this summer.

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However, Casillas was handed a rare start in the Champions League clash with Copenhagen on Wednesday night and was understandably delighted to have not only returned to the first team, but also picked up a clean sheet from a 4-0 win.

"It was a long time without playing in the Bernabeu in an official match and getting back to wearing this shirt makes me feel proud," the World Cup winner is quoted as saying by his club's official website.

"It has been a very long time and a lot has happened in that time but I have not tried to hide anything.

"When you've gone so long without playing, lots of things go through your head, but my dream is to keep playing until the mind and body will permit.

"The club has treated me very well and Real Madrid are more important than Casillas.

"What I want is to play football and do so for Real Madrid. Right now, the aim is to keep going."

Madrid came in for fierce criticism after their derby defeat to Atletico at the weekend - their first Liga loss to their city rivals in 14 years - but Casillas feels that the players deserve credit for the way in which they responded to such a disappointing setback.

"The team should be congratulated because we managed to win, which was not easy," the 32-year-old added.

"The players try to make it better. We have to focus on the present, as we have a team with great quality.

"Real Madrid is the most demanding club and playing in this team and for Spain means that people have opinions of you.

"You have to respect the most critical people and work hard to change their minds so they are with the team so that, together, we can win titles."

Having won their opening two games, Madrid currently top Champions League Group B, four points clear of Juventus, whom they face next.