People are raving about His Ruudness, Becks and the band of characters that are on the edge of bringing a European giant back to glory. But lost in the mix is the one man that has been a constant beacon throughout these times of darkness.
I constantly hear about Cristiano Rolando and Kaká for FIFA Player of the Year. Do they deserve, hell yes!!! But there should be one player that needs to be considered or at least be put in that list come the end of the year.
His performances since he came in for an injured César Sánchez in that memorable 2002 Champions League final has made him arguably the greatest Merengue of the past decade. Yes, he knocked off the untouchable Raúl from his pedestal and the Madrid faithful must accept that and give him that type of appreciation as without him the team would have crashed to complete oblivion- something that not even their beloved number seven could have avoided. San Iker deserves a statue next to players like Di Stefano, Puskas, Juanito, Butragueño, Michel, Sánchez, Illgner, Arconada, among many, many, many others. His status as idol should be secured not for the titles that he has won (yes he has on titles) and for what he did during the good times. His status should be secure based on what he did when he was surrounded by the greatest fantasy football squad that this generation could have assembled. As much as Madrid´s Galáctico policy is part of ancient history, but it did see the emergence of arguably the greatest goalkeeper of the past 10 years.
Iker Casillas has kept Madrid afloat in these four years of darkness. His superhuman efforts and legendary perfomances allowed he madridistas to actually dream and be frustrated at the lack of silverware.
The recent talk about how Beckham and Roberto Carlos rising from the ashes, Ruud Van Nistelrooy taking up the slack up front, and a different hero showing up every weekend during this magical run got Iker lost in the shuffle. Remember when Iker was the guy that kept them in games in which they had no business being in? Yeah, those days when Madrid were literally crap and any mention of performances like the latest ones would lead to insinuations of heavy drug use.
Look, I am not a proponent of having a goalkeeper be your best player;but the reality is that kept him in La Liga. Any player that can carry a team for three-quarters of a season while he waits for the cavalry to wake up is worthy of at least some type of mention for awards internationally. Besides that, Casillas should start to be mentioned in the same breath as the Schumachers, Schmeichels, Chilaverts, Fillols, Maiers, and Shiltons of the world. Yeah as a player that redefined his position and was able to help his team back to greatness. This is why if he does not end up in the Top 5 in both Spanish and World Player of the Year, travesty would be putting it lightly.
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