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Dec 11, 2012

Casillas would swap La Liga for 'La Decima'

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas says he would have no doubts in sacrificing this year's La Liga title if it guaranteed he could lift his club's yearned for 'La Decima' - or tenth European Cup.

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Madrid currently trail Tito Vilanova's Barcelona by eleven points in the Primera Division, and are waiting to learn their opponents for the Champions League last 16 after finishing behind Borussia Dortmund but ahead of Ajax and Manchester City in a very difficult group.

The Madrid captain showed no hesitation when asked by Spanish TV station La Sexta to choose just one trophy to end the season.

"La Decima," Casillas said. "I do not have to think about it. If you told me know that we would finish 25 points behind Barcelona in La Liga that is obviously not ideal as the domestic competition is very important. But if you tell me that we are going to win La Decima, I would sign for that right now."

In La Liga second-placed Atletico Madrid travel to Barcelona next Sunday, meaning Madrid can close the gap on one or both of the top two by beating Espanyol at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that evening.

Casillas admitted it was difficult to know what result he preferred from the Camp Nou game, but plumped for an Atletico win to perhaps help Madrid make up ground on leaders Barca.

"Logically I would like that they both lose the game as they are ahead of us in the table, but that is not possible," he said. "Therefore, in my own interest, what would be best is that Barca loses points, as they are the leader."

Casillas was speaking before attending Monday's nights AS Sports Awards ceremony in Madrid, where the Spain captain was recognised along with his national coach Vicente del Bosque and Atletico Madrid centre-forward Radamel Falcao.

Madrid president Florentino Perez and Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Falcao as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, were also present at the gala event.

According to Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo the two joked about Madrid signing Falcao, with Mendes offering Perez a deal scribbled on a napkin, as Barcelona director Carles Rexach once did to Lionel Messi's father.

Neither Perez nor Mendes discussed transfer dealings with reporters at the event, while Falcao, who again underlined his value with a five goal haul in Sunday's 6-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna, was as usual non-committal when asked about his future.

"I hope to leave my mark on La Liga and Atletico, because it is a very big and important club, and it is not easy to make your mark here," the €60 million rated Colombian striker, 26, told reporters. "The challenge is to show my qualities and contribute to lifting the club as high as possible. I still have a lot of aims in front of me. I am enjoying the present. I have three more years contract at Atletico."

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