Madrid: Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas played down on Tuesday the eight-point gap separating the defending champions from league leaders Barcelona, saying the disparity in the standings won't become important until December.
Casillas said he was satisfied with his side's 2-2 draw against their arch-rivals Barca on Sunday, telling Cope radio it was far too early to be overly concerned about Real's position in the table.
"If we are still eight points behind in the month of December, I would be more pessimistic regarding La Liga (...) But now, there are still numerous matches to play. A 2-2 at Camp Nou is a good result, even from the point of view of goal average," explained Casillas.
After Sunday's draw in Catalonia, Madrid stand fifth in the table but Casillas was quick to highlight that Tito Vilanova's Barca are not their only challengers for the title.
The Spain shot-stopper refused to discount Real's city rivals Atletico, who are joint top with Barca on 19 points after seven matches.
"One can't exclude Atletico Madrid, authors of a superb run after seven matches. This good start does not surprise me. (Coach Diego) Simeone, since his arrival, has formed a very compact team in all areas. It's a team that could fight up until the end for the title," said Casillas.
The veteran goalkeeper also voiced his support for teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who matched Lionel Messi with two goals in Sunday's Clasico, in the race with the Argentine superstar for this year's Ballon d'Or award.
"I choose Cristiano, it's clear. Because he is a player who has brought us an awful lot during all these seasons and I know him well."
Story first published on: Tuesday, 09 October 2012 18:01 IST