Xabi Alonso comments on criticism Iker Casillas has been subjected to

Iker Casillas

Bayern Munich star comments on backlash his former Real Madrid teammate has endured, which has granted international exposure for Manchester United man.

Legendary Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper was not dropped from the national team for his mistake against Slovakia, but because manager Vincent del Bosque always intended to gradually introduce Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea as part of a transitional plan.

That is the opinion of Spain and La Liga expert Guillem Balague, who believes 33-year-old Casillas, in the twilight of his career, may soon end up on the fringes of the national team due to the emergence of the younger de Gea, 23, who has been impressing of late for Manchester United.

"The first goal Casillas conceded against Slovakia was a mistake," wrote Balague for Sky Sports.

"It came off the back off a fantastic save but it shows what Casillas is at the moment and what he has perhaps always been: a very good reactive goalkeeper but not so good proactively. When the ball came to him, he swerved a bit when he should have stayed on his feet and made himself bigger.

"That was basically the last straw for Casillas but he was always going to be replaced by De Gea," he concluded.

For Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso, a former team-mate of Casillas's at Real Madrid, the player still has much to offer, both inside the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and at international-level.

"Iker is a professional and he’s been living with criticism for years," said Alonso on AS. "It’s nothing new for him and he’ll continue to be important for Madrid and for Spain."

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