Iker Casillas will leave Real Madrid in the next few hours unless unexpected complications arise. After 16 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spanish international will be forced out two seasons before his contract expires in order to supposedly make way for Manchester United's David De Gea -- a player who, as far as we know, will not be allowed to leave Old Trafford unless Sergio Ramos becomes part of the package.
Regular Barcablog readers are aware that whatever happens at Real Madrid is normally ignored in our site as, broadly speaking, whatever is going on in the Spanish capital is ultimately up to them to sort out.
However, the contrast between the departures of Casillas and Xavi is so alarming that the topic really could not be left unmentioned.
Xavi also departed the Camp Nou this summer but, deservedly, was given the chance to say goodbye to the adoring Camp Nou crowd in the last league match of the season, surrounded by fans holding banners of support. The Culers who witnessed him grow into the most condecorated player in Barcelona history had their chance to wave their idol goodbye.
Although it was painful to part ways, it was clear that Xavi's adventure in Qatar will result on a glorious return to his hometown club in the not-too-distant future. The current board of directors has committed many mistakes along the way but, at least, they gave their captain a truly memorable send-off.
Iker Casillas, in contrast, is pretty much being offloaded on the quick after several seasons of being the constant target of ferocious criticism from media and supporters alike. After being elevated to saint status earlier on in his career, it was pretty nasty to see how those who used to kiss the ground he walked on slowly but surely turned against him when results and performance stopped being as impressive.
Casillas' relationship with high-profile Sara Carbonero and his ongoing disagreements with former manager Jose Mourinho really damaged his reputation as, for whatever reason, he was constantly made a scapegoat for either bad results or the media finding out key information from within the Bernabeu dressing room.
Don't get me wrong, Real Madrid are Barca's historical rivals and seeing them lose is always a pleasure. Having said that, witnessing a legendary player of Casillas' calibre being treated like a second-class failed veteran is both upsetting and shameful.
Are Real Madrid right in forcing Iker Casillas out?
It's your turn: Did Casillas deserve as big a sending off as Xavi? I'd love to hear your views. Share your comments with our community in the box below.