Dirty Tackle

Iker Casillas turns down Ronaldo’s mid-game offer of the captain’s armband

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

As he did in Real Madrid's final match before the winter break, Jose Mourinho decided to bench goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas again in their first match after the break against Real Sociedad. This time, however, the cosmic powers of the footballing universe thwarted Mourinho's will.

Starting keeper Antonio Adan was shown a straight red card in just the sixth minute, forcing Mourinho to put Casillas into the game. Including the penalty kick that resulted from Adan's foul, Sociedad went on to score twice in the first half to keep pace with Madrid.

But after the penalty something unusual happened. Cristiano Ronaldo, wearing the captain's armband for Madrid for the first time in an official match, took it off and attempted to give it to Casillas 12 minutes into the match. Casillas refused and pushed him away, so Ronaldo just put it back on and proceeded to score twice in the second half to give Madrid a 4-3 win.

It seems likely that Casillas simply didn't want to carry out such an unusual transfer of the captaincy when the current holder wasn't even being subbed off. In the coming days we will likely hear reports of Casillas doing it to spite Mourinho or because he didn't want to touch something infected with Ronaldo cooties, though. Because it wouldn't be a day without a bit of manufactured controversy in Madrid.

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