Real Madrid and Spanish national-team goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas said here after a preseason practice that he was looking to put last season's troubles behind him and work his way back into the starting 11.
"I'd love to be a starter again. I'm working and competing for that, although my teammates would say the same. We're all starting from zero, but I'm much more hopeful than before that I can get back there. I know my teammates will make it tough for me," the 32-year-old netminder said in a press conference Monday at UCLA.
He described new coach Carlo Ancelotti as a "winner" and said the team was focused on breaking through after finishing second last season in the Spanish league and losing in the semifinals and finals, respectively, of the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
Casillas, winner of a record five IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper awards between 2008 and 2012, complimented the Blancos' previous coach, Jose Mourinho, despite the latter's decision to keep him out of the line-up even after he had recovered from a broken hand suffered in January.
Mourinho signed a four-year deal with English club Chelsea in the offseason.
"It's not about looking back to the previous season. You have to be grateful for Mourinho's contribution to Real Madrid and now focus on new challenges," Casillas said, adding that he did not consider himself the favorite to be the starter over 31-year-old teammate Diego Lopez. EFE