Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid, said remarks in which he reportedly attacked Iker Casillas and Raul were “taken out of context.”
Perez’s contentious comments come from a 2006 audio tape that was hacked and published Tuesday in the Spanish daily El Confidencial.
Perez had just resigned as president of Real Madrid at the time, and in the recording, he seems to connect his departure in part to the influence wielded by the two players.
He is believed to have stated that Casillas was not talented enough to play goal for Real Madrid and questioned Raul’s enormous impact.
Perez, who returned to Madrid as president in 2009, believes the leaked tape was motivated by his support for the European Super League.
Perez said in a statement issued by Real Madrid: “Given the story in El Confidencial attributed to me, I believe it is necessary to clarify.”
“The remarks were made during a conversation with D. Jose Antonio [Abellan], who has been attempting to sell them unsuccessfully for years. It’s remarkable that they surfaced today in the newspaper El Confidencial, considering the passage of time.
“The comments are taken out of context. They are being replicated now, after so many years, I think, as a result of my position as one of the European Super League’s promoters.
“I have referred the matter to my lawyers, who are investigating possible legal action.”
Raul is Madrid’s all-time appearance leader with 741 and was the club’s top goalscorer with 323 until being surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 450 goals for Los Blancos.
Raul is presently the reserve squad coach at Real Madrid.
Casillas, the former goalkeeper, ranks only behind Raul with 725 appearances and won all of Madrid’s major club championships over a 25-year tenure.