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Iker Casillas has conceded it will be difficult for him to assert his position in Real Madrid's first team next season, insisting Diego Lopez "deserves to continue playing" in goals.

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Casillas, 32, was consigned to the bench for much of last season after his injury paved the way for Lopez to prove himself under Jose Mourinho.

The form of Lopez made it a struggle for Casillas to reclaim his place, but the Los Blancos captain appears to have retained his status as Spain's number one goalkeeper with a strong performance in the Confederations Cup semi-final win over Italy.

Casillas is adamant he will be able to challenge Lopez next season, but is resigned to the fact that his team-mate could easily be Carlo Ancelotti's first choice.

"Diego Lopez is a fantastic person and a great goalkeeper," Casillas told Radio Marca. "He was superb and he deserves to continue playing. He had a brilliant season. I never wanted problems. I have learned how to show patience ever since I was a child, I know that I have to wait and try to win my place in the side."

Casillas was linked with Arsenal as tensions with Mourinho grew last season and the goalkeeper claims he will have no ill feelings if he is told to leave the Bernabeu.

But until then, he is determined to prove his critics wrong.

"I didn't want to be a nuisance or be harmful to the team," Casillas added. "If one day I am told that I have to leave this club, which I consider to be my home, I will go without fuss.

"I was trying to recover from my injury and others were saying things about me. If that had happened to me when I was 20, I would have taken it as a problem but right now I am the captain.

"I'm not going to go yelling that I am no telltale. I will try and win over the people who think I am not good enough. All I want to do is help my club so that they can win the 10th European Cup and all of the trophies that they contest."


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