The question being debated locally is,  should Iker Casillas have started as the official goalkeeper in the Confederations Cup?

Many were surprised to see Iker Casillas as the starting goalkeeper against Uruguay. Many believe that after being sidelined 5 months that Victor Valdes was the more appropriate choice, he too having earned merit to have started.

Spain Soccer Team 2013

The match performance of Iker Casillas against Uruguay was difficult to judge as Spain played so well that Casillas intervened very little. If Cavani would have managed to touch a set piece header it would have been a goal,  & the Luis Suarez free-kick goal was unstoppable & thus cannot be factored into any decision.

However, if one of the main principal reasons for a player to start is his form, Victor Valdes should have started. So why did Casillas play? This answer is deep inside the head of Coach Del Bosque & I can only speculate here. Doing so , there maybe a few reasons that may have pushed the balance the way of Casillas:

  • Win back the players confidence: Casillas has lost confidence & doubt may have set into his play , thus this act by Del Bosque was a "personality builder". 
  • Image cleanser. Casillas has won himself prestige & the title of "The Best Keeper in the World". Both have been seriously undermined & questioned under Jose Mourinho while at Real Madrid.
  • Coherence. Coach Del Bosque has supported Casillas the last months saying that independently of his situation at Real Madrid he would be called up to the Spanish National Team for the Confederations Cup. Del Bosque has said in numerous occasions that he personally has faith in Casillas. 
  • To prove wrong Jose Mourinho. Putting Casillas on against Uruguay showed that Iker was available & capable, against the ideas of a "critic" like Mourinho.
  • Because Del Bosque is the Coach & he makes the decisions, thus does not need to justify to no one. 
  • Send a messaje to the squad that Del Bosque is a man of his words & that if you do your job well he will defend you. 
All viable & very noble reasons for which Casillas should be eternally grateful to Vicent Del Bosque. In fact, if these are some of the factors, it shows the human qualities of Del Bosque that are admirable. 

All this is fine, but Sportingly it was risky. If the main objective is to defend the Spanish Teams prestige as "World & Euro Champions" & to go to Brazil to seriously attempt to win the Confederations Cup putting a player on below form & with "doubts" may have been a disaster. Luckily as I mentioned Spain played so well Casillas was not tested. But what about next time against Nigeria? Italy or Brazil if they meet?  

What about Victor Valdes? What about his prestige? The man has 5 "Zamora" titles ( Best goalkeeper of the Spanish League ), has played all season with Barça & is in top form. The brilliant performance of Valdes in the vital World Cup qualifier against France while Casillas was injured also deserves reward, right? How must Valdes feel deep inside? 

One Spanish Football commentator expressed that unlike Casillas when news came to his ears that Mourinho would not put him on in the last match of Liga, Casillas decided to ( this still isn´t 100% proven ) fake an injury & rub himself off;  Valdes on the overhand took the news of his sideline against Uruguay Sportingly , without "bad faces" & supported his team on the sidelines. 

I my opinion, Del Bosque made the wrong decision & should have put on Valdes. The FC Barcelona player simply is in better form, plus Casillas has not played a single match for the last 5 months. Admirable the human gestures of Coach Del Bosque towards the most capped Spanish International in history, Captain of the World Cup & two Euro Titles & living history of Spanish Football. But - my opinion - the team is way above individuals & their individual needs - & there is now "behind the back" comments of favouritism. The Spanish National Team is far greater than Iker Casillas & the best players in form should always play. Think about all those in the squad not starting? Mata, Silva, Javi Martinez, Jesus Navas, Torres, Santi Cazorla, Monreal ... what about them & their prestige?

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