“We started with the U17 National Team. I am a year older than him, and I don’t remember ever facing him in the youth squads of our teams. Then we were separated. Under 17, 18 and 20, he didn’t make the Sydney Olympics because he was called up to the first team, and later on, all that experience that we have together in the first team, with these two Euros and that World Cup as exponents.
I have to admit publicly that I care a lot about Iker and I sincerely believe that we have a good friendship. We’ve spent many years together, we have gone through many moments, good and bad, and that unites people a lot. He’s a very likable guy. Always joking, cheerful, sincere, competitive, very competitive. He’s total energy and the fact that he is very caring draw me in. He pressures you, he teases you, but always with respect. He always exercises a bit of common sense. He’s very practical and does not dwell on things.
Iker Casillas is sane, proper, an exceptional guy. For example, when a problem arose in the Madrid-Barcelona and he saw that the thing could get much more heated, he called me and told me ‘Pelopo’ -he almost always calls me 'Pelopo’ -, machine, we need to fix this. We have suffered a lot and we got where we are now and we cannot let it go all got to waste now because of what’s happening’.
I believe that if Iker had not mediated in the moment he did, I don’t really know how things would have ended. He is one of those people who brings people together, He contributes with something to the group. His leadership is natural, not forced. Iker Casillas is sane, proper, an exceptional guy.”