This is your favorite song from the soundtrack of Notting Hill. You’re quite a romantic aren't you?
I think it's a beautiful movie. The first time I saw Notting Hill, I really liked it. I think that Hugh Grant was brilliant. He was very funny and I think the soundtrack to the film is really good.
Can one be a romantic in this day and age?
I think you can still be a romantic; it comes from within. You just need to be able to produce certain gestures and to do certain things.
The other day I saw the musical video to this song and thought of you as you experienced something very similar to what happened to Hugh Grant's character. One day you opened your front door and saw hundreds of flashes and you must have thought to yourself, what has happened? Everything changed in course of one day.
Well I started very young when I was 18 years old. I started playing in fields In front of one hundred fans and just four or five months later I was playing in front of fifty thousand people with all of the pressure that it entails. The people, the press… It wasn't easy.
Can one say that Iker Casillas' life is like a movie? Could your life be made into a movie?
Yes without a doubt. I've thought about this possibility before as there's a lot of stuff that has happened to me in. I've got many anecdotes and amusing stories to tell, not only in the professional sense but also outside football. It's a story which up until now is full of positive moments.
If you had been told what your future had in store for you say eleven or twelve years ago, would you have believed it?
Well, as this is a frank and open Interview, and Jose Mourinho was very frank when he came before, I'll do the same. I always knew that I would reach the first team, ever since I was twelve or thirteen years old. I remember standing on the Castellana Avenue with my father and seeing the Santiago Bernabeu. I thought to myself
What's the best advice you parents gave you? Being a football player is not easy, you need to have your ideas clear and you must be determined to succeed. So, what did they try to tell you to do or what did they try to tell you that you shouldn’t do?
Well, my parents never had to get to that point. I was never a problematic child, though obviously I did my fair share of mischief. When I was thirteen or fourteen years old there were tons of stories about what I would do, but my parents were always very relaxed because they know I was very independent. I matured when I got to the first team, which also made it easy for them.
You said that when you were a child you knew that one day you would play at the Santiago Bernabeu. When did you realize you're dream would come true?
Well, my road to the first team was a little complicated. One day a teammate got injured and I got the chance to make me Real Madrid debut under John Benjamin Toshack. When I played for Real Madrid C, I used to train with the first team once or twice a week. I took turns with the Real Madrid Castilla's goalkeeper. I met Gus Hiddink and soon realized that I was close to breaking into the first team and that I was going to fulfill my dream. The next year Real Madrid C did really well and straight afterwards I made the step up to the first team as the third string goalkeeper.
Do people love more Iker Casillas the goalkeeper or Iker Casillas the person? I think the latter of the two.
I think the most important thing is to be loved and appreciated for who you are. The day I retire people will argue whether Casillas was a good or bad goalkeeper and say that he made mistakes. But I would like it if they also remember Casillas the person.
What is the best quality that you have as a person?
I don't know. I think it's my honesty. My conscience wouldn't let me fall asleep at night if I had done something wrong during the day. If my conscience is not clear I can't fall asleep.
What do you aspire to in life?
As I said before, I would like to be remembered as a good person and as a good athlete. As for my wish, I'd like to be considered as someone important in the world of sport.
Aren't you already someone important in the world of sport?
After I retire I'd still like to be involved. I would like to help younger players in the game. When I was younger, I would have liked to have been able to count on the help of someone who had been successful in the football.
What would you change in your life?
I would want to have one day in the week when I could do whatever I want, like take a walk down Gran Via down to Plaza España and Callao. I would like to do what everybody else does.
What do you fear? Mourinho said it was God. What about you?
I think illness and suffering or losing someone I love. I've been lucky because it hasn't happened to anyone close to me, but more than anything it would be illness. Cancer scares me. It's very common. The doctor of the national team passed away after losing a battle with cancer. He was with us for twenty years, but six months before the European Championship he was diagnosed with cancer and he died one month before the tournament started. He was a great person.
What values must one have to be captain of Real Madrid?
You have to be very responsible. You cannot fear being in charge of a group of players. You must constantly think about the team and always try to represent and defend them. I've been lucky because I've had great teachers in the past; people who have helped me a lot like Manolo Sanchis, Fernando Hierro and Raul Gonzalez. I also learned a lot from Guti, but you need to take a lot on board.
The other day Marcelo told me that you had a great gesture towards him after the match against Espanyol. He said you went to congratulate him in a special way. It meant a lot to him.
Marcelo is a stunning player and he has come on a great deal. When he arrived here under Fabio Capello it was difficult for him as he hardly played. Capello would name the starting team and Marcelo would normally end up watching the game from up in the stands. In just four years he has taken advantage of the opportunities before him. Juande Ramos knew how to get the best out of him and now with Mourinho we are seeing the best Marcelo yet. He is full of confidence and we are delighted with his contribution. Sometimes he goes forward a bit too much, but we all make sure he tracks back!
Talk to me about Jose Mourinho, but not the manager that we all know.
I've said a lot about him before.
What do you remember from the first day you met in Valdebebas.
I was actually about to go on holiday the exact same day he arrived. He's a cheerful person who loves to joke around. He's a completely different person from what people see on TV when he gives a press conference or when he is on the pitch. He loves his family and he's great toward us all. Some people may dislike him, but people in general tend to have something good to say about him. He's a great person.
Let's talk about another Portuguese man, Cristiano Ronaldo. Why have some people wanted to speculate about bad blood between the two of you?
I think that Real Madrid sells a lot in the press. Cristiano is a player who generates massive press interest. I had a small argument with Marcelo against Mallorca, but that's now dead and buried and everything is fine between the two of us. With Cristiano something similar happened. We don't always see eye to eye, but we always talk about what's happened and try to find ways to fix it. We have a good relationship, and unlike we some papers say, we all get along. A lot of time people say we don't get along in an attempt to destabilize the team. They see that we get along, but they try to sell a story that isn't true.
What crosses your mind when you pass by Cibeles?
Well, there are a lot of memories and unforgettable moments. The first time I went there was when we won the Intercontinental Cup in 1998. Everyone who has followed and supported the team is there. It's a day when you can really let your hair down and go crazy. It's where you can meet the fans; people with whom you have shared good and bad moments. It’s great to be at Cibeles as it means that the story has had a happy ending.
You are good at predicting the future. When we talked before you said that Spain was going to win the World Cup.
Yes, I could see our time had come. The timing was perfect. It was a great group of great players. We had a lot of talent on show, and it was now or never. After the European Championship I knew it was Spain's turn. Now I hope that we can maintain the same group of players until 2012. We have another important challenge ahead of us which is to defend our Euro 2008 title. The group of players will slowly change because some will be older and others we make the squad for the World Cup in Brazil. We might even see some new faces when we take part in the Confederations Cup.
Do you think that you can win some silverware with Real Madrid?
Well, we are in the final of the Copa del Rey. It's a beautiful competition that's become a little undervalued. But we are up against Barcelona in the final so we will be in for an exciting game. As for the league and Champions League, we are doing well. In the Champions League we've played against some big teams like Ajax and AC Milan and we have earned good results. We are a young group of players and now we have a serious challenge ahead of; none other than Olympique Lyon. In the league we have to wait to see how things unfold. We have to wait for Barcelona to make a mistake and try ourselves to collect as many points as possible.
You were named the best goalkeeper in the world when you were awarded the Golden Glove. You became the first Spanish player to lift the World Cup…and on top of all of that, you are a great person.
Are you sure? Thank you!