You might have thought everything would be rosy in the Real Madrid garden after they followed up winning their 10th Champions League title last season by signing three World Cup stars in James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas this summer.
But prior to their 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup last night, the tension within their squad was apparently exposed to the world in what seemed an extraordinary moment in the tunnel.
As you can see from the video below, Madrid substitute Alvaro Arbeloa made his way down the tunnel, wishing luck to team-mates Dani Carvajal, Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Pepe, before apparently ignoring Iker Casillas.
It seemed to reveal a festering feud after the most modern of fallings out this summer.
Goalkeeper Casillas kicked it all off by 'liking' a post on Instagram which both criticised his former rival for the No. 1 shirt, Diego Lopez, and also referred to Arbeloa as "a cone" to refer to the full-back's apparent lack of mobility.
Arbeloa - an international as well as club team-mate of Casillas - then retweeted a link to a book which referred to club legend Casillas as a "tumour on Real Madrid."
That gaffe forced Arbeloa into a mea culpa: "I made the mistake of retweeting the guide without having read all 98 pages word for word. Never in my life have I spoken badly about a team-mate, and in this instance, I had no intention to do so through an intermediary.
"I apologise to my team-mate and captain Iker Casillas, and all fans of Real Madrid who may have been offended."
All brushed under the carpet, then? Only temporarily, it seems, as the video clip above suggested all has not been forgiven. Indeed, Arbeloa and Casillas seemed to be doing everything they could to avoid eye-contact prior to last night's game at the Bernabeu.
But then a fresh angle emerged which demonstrated the two did have a very brief, though not particularly warm, exchange. It'd take an expert lip-reader to figure out what Casillas said, of course - and in the absence of that, it's up to you to guess whether Casillas was saying "Hola compadre," or "Hey, cone boy, enjoy reading your nasty book while you sit on the bench."
What do you think? Have Casillas and Arbeloa buried the hatchet after their social media war this summer? Or are there unresolved problems in the Real Madrid dressing room?
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Alvaro Arbeloa
- Iker Casillas
- Atletico Madrid