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Jun, 4, 2013

Casillas: I hold no Mourinho grudge

Both Iker Casillas and Mesut Ozil have wished Jose Mourinho all the best now he has left Real Madrid to return to Chelsea.

• Rigg: No tearful farewell for Mourinho
• Train: Adieu, Jose
• Corrigan: Florentino Perez geared for third term
• Perez: Mourinho could return

A feud between Casillas and Mourinho has long been reported in Spain, with the Portuguese's parting shot being a claim that the club captain had opted out of playing the final game of the 2012-13 season against Osasuna last weekend due to a mystery back injury.

Speaking from the Spanish camp ahead of the upcoming Confederations Cup, the long-serving goalkeeper said he had "no hard feelings" now that their three turbulent years together had ended.

"Mourinho has embarked on a new course and I wish him all the best," Casillas said. "When he was at Real Madrid he made his decisions and you must respect them. Unfortunately we did not achieve the objectives we had in mind, which were the Champions League and Copa del Rey, but we do not need to keep going over it. I wish him luck and that things go well for him. He showed his face for Real Madrid and, personally, I hold no hard feelings against him."

Playmaker Ozil also had his ups and downs with Mourinho, with team-mate Sergio Ramos memorably wearing his colleague's shirt under his own in a show of support after the German international had been substituted at half-time in last September's game against Deportivo la Coruna.

Ozil left in a message posted to his official Facebook page in German, Turkish, Spanish and English, thanking Mourinho for the lessons learned and suggesting such a demanding approach from his boss had helped him improve as a player.

"Dear Jose Mourinho, in professional soccer it's normal that you stay together only for a certain period of time," Ozil said. "Then you move on. Three years ago you brought me to Real. During the past three years you taught me a lot, trusted in me and you gave me the confidence I needed. Therefore I want to thank you very much and I wish you all the best for your further career. Thank you very much, Mesut."

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