The melodrama that surrounded Jose Mourinho's decision to bench Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas after he returned from a broken hand consumed the second half of last season for the club. Now, while Casillas plays for Spain in the Confederations Cup, Real have replaced Mourinho with Carlo Ancelotti and Casillas apparently feels like it's safe to speak about the emotional pain from which he has now recovered.
On your return [from injury], however, you found yourself in the unusual position of having to sit on the bench at Real Madrid. How did you deal with that period?
By thinking of the team and wanting what's best for Real Madrid. I cried, suffered, felt bad and had nights where I slept little, if at all. I'm a Madridista through and through, and before everyone else – coaches, presidents, directors of football, even myself – the club always comes first.
Yes, like Spain teammate Cesc Fabregas before him, Iker Casillas also suffered. But now that mean old Mourinho has gone back to Chelsea, San Iker can once again sleep at night — allowing him to dream of world peace inspired by free kittens that never age — and cry slightly less.
Finally, would you say you're feeling happy again?
Yes, I really have got my happiness back. It's always difficult when you find yourself in a situation you've never experienced before. It hasn't been easy, but now I've turned the corner, I'm a different Iker Casillas.
And how different is he? Well, for one thing, this Iker Casillas can fly...