Former Tottenham reserve defends Casillas from Madrid critics

He may have failed to make the grade at White Hart Lane but Champions League winning goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez has been back in the headlines this week.

Iker Casillas found support from a rather surprising source this week –Cesar Sanchez, the goalkeeper he replaced at Real Madrid and who went on to enjoy a largely anonymous spell at Tottenham.

Signed by Juande Ramos during the Spaniard’s ill-fated spell at the helm of the Lilywhites, Sanchez made just one appearance for the north London club, coming on as a substitute for Heurelho Gomes during a 4-2 win over Liverpool in the League Cup.

Never truly trusted between the sticks at Spurs, the Spaniard did go on to prove his critics wrong, however, during a largely successful spell later on in his career at Valencia.

He is best remembered for his time at Real though and the part he played in helping the club claim the Champions League back in 2002.

Starting the final against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park, after featuring for the majority of the tournament, Sanchez’s final would be cut short through injury, with the returning Iker Casillas taking his place from the bench.

Until then Sanchez had established himself as number one at the club, but that final appearance proved to be the beginning of the end as Casillas saw himself reinstated as first choice for the following season.

But despite that, the former Spurs substitute had only kind words for his former rival, who has come under increasing pressure from Madrid fans after a series of errors for the Spain national side and Los Blancos.

According to quotes published by Football Espana, Sanchez called on the Real faithful to get behind the goalkeeper, describing his current treatment as "unfair".

"The fans should support those that play every weekend," he said.

"It’s no good for Madrid if they are playing under pressure from their own supporters. They should be supporting the team in difficult times."

Tottenham will be hoping to avoid any errors when they travel to Serbia to face Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League this Thursday.

The game could see veteran back-up keeper Brad Friedel feature, with the Lilywhites keen to make a winning start to the group phase.

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