Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol is convinced there is a media conspiracy being waged against Iker Casillas. Several issues regarding Casillas' form and behaviour have been raised in recent weeks and Albiol believes it is a ploy to damage his Ballon d'Or chances.

"When these types of criticisms are made, there is an objective. This campaign is to give those who choose the Ballon d'Or one less problem," the defender told EFE.

"It is clear that to win the award as a goalkeeper is very difficult but, if anyone can do, it is Iker. Last year, he won trophies with Spain and with Real Madrid. He had a great season."