It’s got to be extremely difficult to pick the right moment to leave centre stage as a footballer. You would want to go out on a high of course. But that ‘final’ high would surely make you want to stay a bit longer and sample victory yet again.
The other problem is staying too long in the hope of rediscovering your top form. This seems to be happening with Iker Casillas at Real Madrid.
Undoubtedly one of the best keepers of his generation but, at 33, he has been on the wane for some time and has had a really poor year by his standards. He has made howlers for club and country but seems determined to prove the doubters wrong.
With such an A-list cast you would imagine that it won’t be long before Real Madrid sign another top class youngish keeper to provide competition for Keylor Navas in the longer term. But Casillas must surely leave soon before the great memories of him are tainted beyond repair.
Latest reports suggest that Liverpool and Arsenal are keen to take the stopper as soon as possible:
Casillas is reportedly worried he could lose his first-choice status yet again, leading to speculation he’s looking for a way out in the winter window.
Casillas’ situation at the Spanish capital has put long-term suitors Arsenal and Liverpool on red alert, with the Premier League pair preparing £4m bids for when the market reopens in January.
While there is no doubt that he was one of the best, we just can’t see how his form is going to suddenly improve in a new, arguably tougher, league. Casillas just seems to have lost that physical edge which made him so hard to beat for so long.
Arsenal and Liverpool both have question marks over their keepers and need more depth. But is Casillas really the answer? We aren’t convinced.