Casillas benched for Madrid's game at Malaga
Spain's national soccer goalkeeper Iker Casillas sits inside a vehicle after arriving to Tocumen international airport in Panama City on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
Published Saturday, December 22, 2012 3:15PM EST
MALAGA, Spain - Goalkeeper Iker Casillas was benched for Real Madrid's game at Malaga on Saturday, the first time he has not started a meaningful league fixture for the defending Spanish league champions in 54 games.
In an apparent coaching decision by Jose Mourinho, second-choice keeper Adan Garrido entered the starting 11 in place of the Spain international.
Casillas had started every game for Madrid this season except for a Champions League game after Madrid's place in the knockout rounds was already assured and two Copa del Rey games against a lower-division opponent.
Madrid can ill afford to drop any more points this season, already trailing leader Barcelona by 16.
The 31-year-old Casillas has been a regular starter for Madrid for 10 seasons.
The last time he did not start a league match was on May 5 last season after Madrid had clinched the title.