Casillas hints at retirement from international football leaving De Gea as Spain’s No.1

by Robbie Dunne

Iker Casillas has hinted he will retire from international football 16 years after his debut against Sweden in 2000.

If the Porto shot-stopper does retire, it will leave the Spanish goalkeeping job to David de Gea, who had to fight tooth and nail to win the starting job in Vicente del Bosque’s side for Euro 2016.

The reigning European champions will hand over their title having been knocked out by Italy in the last 16 with a limp performance against Antonio Conte’s side, but many believe a new generation of Spanish superstars are just around the corner with De Gea leading from the back.

He showed off his ability against Italy but could not prevent the Azzurri beating them 2-0 on route to a quarter-final clash with Germany.

Many believe the debate over Casillas or De Gea went on for too long with too much trepidation from the Spanish manager and it may have played into the lack of sureness in Spain’s defensive line during the tournament. Del Bosque played Casillas for most of the qualifiers with De Gea limited to friendly matches with little chance to build consistency with his Spanish team-mates.

It is widely expected that Del Bosque will step down after eight years with the team and a new manager with fresh ideas will surely be welcomed by some of the younger players who were the victims of Del Bosque’s sometimes unbending loyalty.

At 25, De Gea has his best years ahead of him and if he can transfer his form at Old Trafford to his national team, he will be the bonafide starter for the next decade.

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