Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Diego Lopez would be his starting goalkeeper for Sunday's Spanish league home match against Athletic Bilbao, although he said captain Iker Casillas would get the chance to play in the near future.
Ancelotti did not say if he had made a decision to play Lopez in the club's La Liga matches and Casillas in Champions League and Copa del Rey contests, but he said the latter will have the opportunity he desires "soon."
"(On Sunday), the goalkeeper will continue to be Diego Lopez because he's playing well at this time," Ancelotti said in a press conference Saturday at the club's training facilities in Valdebebas, a Madrid suburb.
"It's true that Casillas is very professional, is working very well and deserves all my respect as Real Madrid's captain. I spoke to him prior to the first (La Liga) match and I want to do so again in the coming days to explain the situation," he added.
Ancelotti ruled out the possibility of Casillas' leaving Real Madrid and stressed his importance to the club.
"Iker hasn't talked to us about leaving. I don't think he's going to leave. We need two very good goalkeepers for this season. Diego's playing at this time, but I'm sure that Casillas will have a chance to play this season," Ancelotti said.
The match against Athletic Bilbao will be Real Madrid's third match of the Spanish league season, while Los Blancos will kick off their 2013-2014 Champions League campaign on Sept. 17 against Turkish club Galatasaray.
Casillas, a five-time winner of the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper Award, was relegated to second string for much of last season by former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho after recovering from a broken hand.
He has remained on the bench since Ancelotti took the reins of the Spanish powerhouse this summer. EFE