Iker Casillas has revealed he thought he was not going to be selected for Real Madrid's game with Málaga on Saturday.
The Madrid captain was dropped in favour of Antonio Adán, who until Saturday had not played a single league game this season, for the game at La Rosaleda, which Real Madrid lost 2-3.
"I'm not used to being on the bench but the team is bigger than Casillas, and the boss is the one who decides who plays," he told TV channel 'La Sexta' on Sunday.
"I have to keep training hard so I can have healthy competition with Antonio [Adan]. At the beginning of the week I began to suspect I wasn't going to play but it is not a major setback. The important thing was for the team to win in Málaga to reduce the gap between Barça and Atlético."
Casillas said that his coach José Mourinho did not explain to him why he had been dropped, but stressed he did not expect him to.
"Mourinho didn't tell me I wasn't going to play or give me any explanation. He doesn't give me an explanation when I do play and it's the same for when I don't. All my team-mates have given me my support, in the same way we always support Antonio. The fact that we both have the support of the dressing room is proof of how well we all get on."
"I am feeling fine and there's a healthy competition between Adán and me. We have to accept the decision and I have to train a lot harder so I can win my place back," he added.
Casillas was speaking at the 'Partido de ilusión', a charity football match he helps organise every year. Madrid president Florentino Pérez attended the event, but Casillas insisted: "He hasn't come here to support me, he's come here to lend his support to the match. He's really got involved in it and I have to thank him for that."
Casillas finished the interview before setting off to play in the game by joking: "Today I am in the starting line-up. There are only two goalkeepers today."
A number of prominent former and curent players participated in the game with Casillas, including Fernando Hierro, Fernando Llorente, Guti, Emilio Butragueño, Fernando Morientes and Rubén de la Red.