Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas accepted some of the blame for the European champions’ latest La Liga failure after they were beaten 2-1 by city rivals and champions Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Casillas, 33, celebrated 15 years since his Real debut on Friday but a section of fans at the Bernabeu was feeling less than nostalgic and roundly whistled their captain after Atletico went ahead from a corner in the 10th minute.
Supporters elsewhere in the stadium attempted to drown out the protests with applause, while others called for president Florentino Perez to step down as big-spending Real slipped into something of a mini-crisis in the early part of the season.
Casillas was beaten by a close-range header from Atletico midfielder Tiago and some fans clearly felt he could have done more to prevent the goal.
Despite the departure of Diego Lopez, who was first choice in La Liga last term while Casillas played in the Champions League, the Real captain’s place in the team is far from assured after the club bought Costa Rica stopper Keylor Navas from Levante in the close season.
The reverse to Atletico, the first time Real’s crosstown rivals have won twice in a row at the Bernabeu, left Carlo Ancelotti’s side with three points from three matches and they are already six points adrift of early leaders Barcelona.
In their last La Liga outing at the end of last month, Real let slip a two-goal lead at Real Sociedad and were beaten 4-2 and quickly need to rediscover their form with Tuesday’s Champions League Group B opener against Basel looming.
“The fans have the final say and if they think they should whistle you have to accept it and respect their opinions,” Casillas told reporters.
“We have to try to change the dynamic,” added the Spain captain.
“They are within their rights and all I can do is respond in the way I know how, by playing football.”
Casillas noted that Real had been conceding a worrying number of goals from corners and free kicks.
“I can understand this little collective panic we are having because we are letting in a lot of goals from set pieces but I feel responsible as goalkeeper,” he said.
“I feel responsible and you have to accept some of the blame. Between us we have to solve a problem that is getting worse and worse.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines