‘Mou’ says it was no different from Fergie leaving Rooney out.
New Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho has spoken out for the very first time about his decision to drop Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas last season, reports the Sun.
The self-styled ‘Special One’, who has just been reappointed for a second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge, caused huge controversy in the Spanish capital in the previous campaign by opting to drop los Blancos captain Casillas in favour of reserve-team keeper Diego Lopez.
In total, the 30-year-old Spain international only appeared in 29 matches in all competitions for the Liga giants last season, including 19 in the league as the club relinquished their title back to arch-rivals FC Barcelona.
However the Portuguese, who left his role at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month after three turbulent years in Madrid, has defended his controversial actions by likening them to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to drop Wayne Rooney.
“He’s a player – and, for me, the players are all equal,” Mourinho told Intereconomia TV.
“Maybe in Madrid people are not prepared for all the players to be the same. I’m a coach who looks for meritocracy.
“Whoever I think is best prepared is who should play, without looking at the status or their past.
“It’s how you work, how you train, how you play.
“For me it was an absolutely normal situation, like it was normal for [Rafael] Benitez to leave [John] Terry always on the bench this season, like Sir Alex left Rooney on the bench – based on what I think, which is meritocracy.
“The people think Iker is better than Diego Lopez and should always play. I accept that perfectly. But I am the manager.”