Casillas: Bayern & Atletico are Madrid's main European rivals – not Barcelona

The veteran goalkeeper says that the German and Spanish titleholders represent the biggest obstacles to Los Blancos’ hopes of holding onto their continental crown

Iker Casillas believes that Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are Real Madrid’s principal rivals for this season’s Champions League, revealing that he only sees Barcelona as a threat in La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men currently sit top of the Primera Division, while they have made a perfect start to the defence of their European title, having won all five of their games to date in Group B ahead of Tuesday’s final fixture, against Ludogorets at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Casillas is expecting another three-way fight for La Liga, with titleholders Atletico and last season’s runners-up, Barca, but he does not view the latter as a major contender for Madrid’s continental crown.

“I think we will have to go right until the end to fight for the league,” the goalkeeper is quoted as saying by AS. “We hope we can win it because we are going really well at the moment.

“But our main rivals in Europe? Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.”

Casillas admitted that he is also hoping to land the Club World Cup, with Madrid set to leave for Morocco after Friday’s Liga clash with Almeria.

“We are going with the aim of becoming world champions,” he added. “We have done well this year and what better way is there to put the icing on the cake?”

Looking further ahead, Casillas is desperately hoping that he will still be in the Spain squad by the time Euro 2016 rolls around, as he is determined to make amends for his role in his country’s disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil, with the then reigning champions having bowed out at the group stage.

“I feel great and if coach Vicente del Bosque thinks it appropriate that I am called up to the squad, I would be delighted,” he stated.

“To represent my country is very important to me and an experience like Euro 2016 after the World Cup also gives you a chance to take away the thorn of what happened in Brazil.”

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