La Liga

Mourinho leaves Casillas off squad

FOX Soccer News: Jose Mourinho set to leave Real Madrid at end of season.
FOX Soccer News: Jose Mourinho set to leave Real Madrid at end of season.
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Take a look back at Jose Mourinho's successful career here.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has left goalkeeper Iker Casillas and forward Cristiano Ronaldo off his squad for his final game with the Spanish club.

Mourinho dropped Casillas even with starting goalkeeper Diego Lopez unavailable for health reasons. Mourinho has yet to start Casillas since he returned from a broken hand in early April. Adan Garrido will likely start in Lopez's place.

Ronaldo has apparently not recovered from a back injury in time for Saturday's home game against Osasuna. Madrid has nothing to play for and will finish the league runner-up to Barcelona, leaving it without a major trophy in Mourinho's third and final season with the club.

Mourinho is expected to return to Chelsea in the Premier League next season.

Pepe, Xabi Alonso and Kaka also missed training during the week and are doubts for the final game of the season, while the Portuguese coach will definitely be without the suspended Sami Khedira and Marcelo, who was granted permission by the club to join up with the Brazil squad ahead of their international friendly with England.

Alvaro Morata and Nacho Fernandez have been released from the Spain Under-21 squad and could make the substitutes' bench. The match could be Gonzalo Higuain's final game for the club, as the Argentinian has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus in the summer.


Which big name stars could be on the move this summer? Find out with Rumor Redux.

Although Mourinho's final weeks at Madrid have been fraught with controversy, with the coach making snide remarks to the media about Pepe and Casillas, two players have shown him their support ahead of his last game.

German midfielder Khedira, who Mourinho signed in the summer of 2010, wrote on his Facebook account: "I am personally very grateful to him. I want to thank him for the opportunity he gave me at Real. I want to thank him for the support he has given me. He has always had my backing, sometimes because I received criticism from the press!

"I want to thank him for all the time I was able to develop and mature as a player and a person at Real Madrid."

Striker Alvaro Morata, one of the few academy players to be given a chance in the first team this season, told reporters: "I think Mourinho is a great coach. He gave me a chance in the team and I wish him and his coaching staff luck in the future.

"I think he believed in the academy players since the day he arrived and has given the players who made their debuts confidence and made us better players. We have to thank him for that."

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