A storm has erupted at Real Madrid after an audio recording leaked showing club president Florentino Perez calling Iker Casillas and Raul “big frauds”.
Casillas and Raul became legends of the club for 43 years combined in the Spanish capital, helping Los Blancos win seven La Liga titles between them.
Raul would leave the Bernabeu in 2010, moving to Schalke after an injury-plagued final season with Madrid, having scored more than 300 goals for the Spanish giants.
Goalkeeper Casillas meanwhile fell victim to Jose Mourinho and was forced to leave the Spanish capital by the Portuguese manager after playing more than 700 times for the club.
But despite their legendary status among many fans and watchers, a secret recording of a 2006 conversation has emerged in which Perez lambasted the duo.
The conversation came six months after he stepped down from his first term as president amid criticism that he had focused too much on brand appeal rather than football success.
“He’s not a Real Madrid goalkeeper. He isn’t and never has been. It was the big failure we had,” Perez said of Casillas according to El Confidencial. .
“What is happening is that they [the fans] adore him, they love him, they talk to him. I don’t know why they defend it so much.
“Well that’s one of the big frauds, the second is Raul. The two big frauds at Real Madrid are Raul first and Casillas second.”
Perez then turned his anger on Raul, whom he accused of having “destroyed” the club, blaming him for leaving as president.
“[Zinedine] Zidane is a great guy. And [David] Beckham and Ronaldo. … But then there are the others who think that … let’s see. Raul is a bad person, ”Perez said.
“He thinks Madrid is his and he uses everything there is in Madrid, developing everything for his own benefit. Him and his agent. They are to blame for Madrid not doing well.
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“Look, one of the things I left was because of him. He’s a negative guy, he’s destroying Madrid. “
The release of the recording will not only cause embarrassment because of the club’s legendary statuses of Raul and Casillas.
The former is also currently the manager of Real Madrid Castilla, the club’s reserve team, and was linked with Zinedine Zidane’s succession before Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment.
Perez hit back in a statement, saying the recording was only released to discredit him in the face of the European Super League scandal.
“In view of the information disseminated in El Confidencial, in which sentences attributed to me are reported, I think it is necessary to clarify,” the statement read.
“The sentences reproduced are spoken in conversations secretly recorded by Mr. José Antonio Abellan, who has been trying to sell them for many years without success.
“It is surprising now that, despite the time that has passed, the newspaper El Confidencial reports them today.
“They are simple sentences of conversations taken from the general context in which they occur.
“For them to be reproduced now, after so many years since these conversations have taken place, do I understand because of my involvement as one of the promoters of the Super League.
“I have handed the matter over to my lawyers who are studying possible measures to be taken.”