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He confronted me secretly – Mourinho hits back at Casillas claims

Jose Mourinho believes Iker Casillas "secretly" challenged his authority while the pair worked together at Real Madrid.

Casillas spoke bluntly about Mourinho's spell in charge of Los Blancos during a recent interview, five years on from the Portuguese becoming the first coach to drop the goalkeeper.

A broken hand in January 2013 ruled Casillas out for two months and the club acted by bringing in Diego Lopez from Sevilla – the Madrid youth product subsequently keeping his place even after Casillas returned to fitness.

Mourinho departed at the end of the 2012-13 season, though Casillas remained second choice to Lopez in the first campaign of successor Carlo Ancelotti.

Casillas said he would take "the bull by the horns and confront Mourinho" if he could have his time again, but the Manchester United manager thinks he did as much behind the scenes, with reports at the time suggesting it was the Spaniard leaking stories to the media.

"It seems like an interview with someone who is at the end of his career," Mourinho told Record.

"But when it comes to me, when he says he has never confronted me, that is not the truth. He did it in a way that no one does better than him; secretly."