Xavi ‘angry and sad’ at Casillas treatment

Barcelona legend Xavi says Real Madrid’s treatment of Iker Casillas over his departure has left “a bad taste” in his mouth.

The goalkeeper, who won five league titles and the Champions League three times during a 25-year period at the Santiago Bernabeu that started when he was nine-years-old, sat alone in Madrid’s media room as he announced his departure from the club on Sunday in an emotional press conference.

The club were criticised for the way the announcement was handled, which lead to them putting together a last-minute tribute for the club icon.

Xavi, who praised his long-term friend in an article in La Vanguardia this week, says that the handling of the situation made him “sad and angry”, insisting he deserved more respect from the club.

“It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” the former Barca player, who now plays for Al-Sadd, told RAC1. “I wrote a letter stating my opinion. He didn’t deserve such a tepid send-off; he deserved more.

“They held a tribute for him but he looked sad. It makes me feel sad and angry that his farewell was like that. Maybe last year the same would’ve happened to me.

“I left in the best way possible but Madrid didn’t lift any trophies. Nevertheless, he deserved more.”

Barcelona’s presidential election is being held on Saturday and Xavi has admitted that he plans to vote for one of the candidates, with Joan Laporta and Josep Maria Bartomeu seen as the favourites.

“I’ll go to vote; I like to participate in everything. It’s a big day for the institution and the club, and the more participants, the better,” he said. “I’ll go with my mother. We both know who we’re going to vote for; I’ve known for a long time, but I won’t reveal my vote because I think that has to be confidential, and more so in my position.

“I don’t know what will happen because all four have had a great campaign. The debate was very respectful and it was a good image for Barca.

“Some candidates don’t want to be linked to Qatar and I respect that.”