According to a report from Portuguese outlet O Jogo, Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been benched by manager Sergio Conceiçao for a pair of reasons: constant mobile phone use and his lacklustre attitude.
Spanish legend Casillas made the move to the Estádio do Dragão in 2015, after being deemed surplus to requirements by La Liga giants Real Madrid.
The 36-year-old has gone on to cement himself as the undisputed first-choice at Porto over the last couple of seasons, with the veteran having started all 8 of his side’s Liga NOS fixtures so far this season, as well as their first two Champions League games.
As a result, it came as a surprise when Casillas was named as a substitute for his side’s European clash with RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night, with Portuguese shot-stopper Jose Sa instead named between the posts.
However, as per the aforementioned report from O Jogo, Porto boss Sergio Conceiçao had good reason for his decision.
As outlined by the Portuguese newspaper:
‘Mobile phones are not prohibited in the team camp. However there are particular times allocated for their use. Iker’s “constant” use of his own mobile device is one of the reasons given for him losing his place.’
‘The manager, Sergio Conceiçao, likes the team to be tight and does not appreciate that internal situations are spread across social networks. It is known that Casillas has made use of his mobile phone, even when the team was in camp, to the point that he has been warned by the goalkeeping coach.’
‘Putting in less effort’
The 167-time capped La Roja international’s indiscretions have not been solely confined to mobile phone use, however, with O Jogo continuing:
‘The Spanish goalkeeper is accused of putting in less effort than the rest of the group than others for some time, something that has not pleased Conceição, who demands maximum intensity from the squad.’
This means that, despite Casillas keeping an impressive 7 clean sheets from his 10 appearances so far this season, the Real Madrid youth product will reportedly again be benched for Porto’s league clash with Pacos Ferreira tonight.
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