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Thursday, Feb 21, 2019

Iker Casillas’ biggest blunders from the past year

The Real Madrid No.1 produced another almighty howler during Madrid’s dramatic defeat to Schalke on Tuesday, adding to his collection of gaffes from the past 12 months.

For a goalkeeper once regarded as the best in his position in the world, Iker Casillas has seen his reputation plummet over the past year or so.

On Tuesday, during Real Madrid’s dramatic 4-3 Champions League defeat to Schalke which almost eliminated the holders, the Spain international committed a huge error when the hosts opened the scoring – deflecting Christian Fuchs’ shot into the net.

It was not Casillas’ first high-profile error over the last year – here is a list of some of his worst.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – 2014 Champions League final

An Atletico corner from the right was cleared to the edge of the area, only for the ball to be nodded back towards the penalty spot. Despite a crowded box, Casillas came racing off his line into no-man’s land before stopping half-way. This allowed Diego Godin to flick a header over the helpless goalkeeper to give Atletico the lead. It almost proved decisive until an injury-time equaliser from Sergio Ramos forced extra time, allowing Real Madrid to eventually clinch La Decima.

Spain v Netherlands – 2014 World Cup group stage

Casillas had a nightmare as Spain opened up their World Cup defence with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands. For Holland’s first goal, he was caught slightly out of position as Robin van Persie headed brilliantly over him to equalise. Arjen Robben shot straight through him to give the Dutch the lead, before the goalkeeper completely missed a left-wing cross on the third goal. His most humiliating moment arrived for Netherlands’ fourth, though, as he was robbed in possession by Van Persie, who dispatched into an empty net.

               On his knees | Casillas had a nightmare World Cup with blunders versus Holland and Chile

Spain v Chile – 2014 World Cup group stage

After losing their opener, Spain knew that a defeat to Chile would see them dumped out of the World Cup. Casillas didn’t help matters by gifting the South Americans their second goal. A simple free-kick from the right was punched straight back into the danger area, allowing Charles Aranguiz to toe-poke the loose ball home. There was no way back for Spain and they were eliminated from the tournament before they could even play their final group game.

Slovakia v Spain – Euro 2016 qualifier

Despite his World Cup disaster, Casillas retained his first team spot for Spain as they kicked off their European Championship defence. However, in their second Group C qualifying match in Slovakia, the Euro 2012 winners fell to another embarrassing defeat as they lost 2-1 to the minnows. Casillas was again to blame when Slovakia took the lead as he failed to stop a free-kick fired straight at him by Juraj Kucka. The Madrid man was deceived by the ball and flapped in an appalling attempt to keep it out.

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – La Liga 2014-15

Casillas had been in better form after his Slovakia slip-up and had won back his starting place at Real Madrid. However, just as the 33-year-old was starting to show some consistency he produced a huge mistake in the derby thrashing by Atletico in February. With the score goalless in the first half, Casillas somehow allowed a tame daisycutter from Tiago Mendes to squirm through his fingers. Atletico didn’t look back and went on to hammer their local rivals 4-0 to blow the Liga title race wide open.

Real Madrid v Schalke – Champions League 2014-15

Real Madrid were expected to breeze into the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they led Schalke 2-0 from the first leg of their last 16 tie. But the holders so nearly suffered a shock collapse as they fell to a chaotic 4-3 defeat on home soil. Goalkeeper Casillas had an evening to forget, as he was arguably at fault for the first three strikes from the visitors. He was especially culpable for Christian Fuchs’ opener as he somehow deflected the left back’s central shot into the net.