Thursday, September 24

Real’s Casillas plays down importance of ‘Clasico’


MADRID: Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has played down the importance of his side’s ‘El Clasico’ clash Saturday against arch-rivals Barcelona.“The winner’s position on the table will be strengthened, but the league is still far from over,” said Casillas after training on Tuesday. “The Clasico will be a great game, but it won’t be decisive. Three very important points will be at stake and our goal is to win the match. There are still many matches and points to win.”

Real are on top of the standings on goal difference from Barcelona with eight games remaining after beating Racing Santander 2-0 on Sunday — their 12 successive win in La Liga.

“We hardly concede any goals because we all help out. Everyone is involved in defending set pieces. Our quality in attack can guarantee us to win games as long as we don’t concede any strikes,” he said.

Real’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka, who joined the club from AC Milan for 65 million euros in June 2009, did not train on Tuesday and is in doubt for the weekend game because of a groin strain that has sidelined him a month.

“He’s getting better slowly, but it’s a complicated injury,” said Casillas.

“Kaka wants to help the team. The team will benefit if he’s in good form. He is angry because he hasn’t performed as he wished, but we’re delighted with him because he’s a team worker who sets a great example.

“We want him to recover as soon as possible,” he added. — AFP