Spain and Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas announces retirement

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 04, 2020, 06.54 PM(IST)

FC Porto's Iker Casillas during the warm up before the match. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Spain’s World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Ike Casillas on Tuesday announced his retirement while ending a trophy-laded career spanning over two decades. The former Real Madrid skipper had called time on his five-year spell with Portuguese club FC Porto in June 2020 after his contract with the club expired.

Spain’s World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Ike Casillas on Tuesday announced his retirement while ending a trophy-laded career spanning over two decades. The former Real Madrid skipper had called time on his five-year spell with Portuguese club FC Porto in June 2020 after his contract with the club expired.

Aged 39, Casillas has not played competitive football since suffering a heart attack during a training session last year. 

"The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not where it takes you, because that comes with work and effort alone," Casillas said on Twitter.

“I think I can say, without hesitation, that the path I have taken is the one I dreamt about."

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Casillas was majorly handed a role as Porto’s technical staff while being also included in the first-team squad. However, the Spaniard never made into the matchday squad.

He led Spain’s golden generation that won World Cup in 2010 as well as two back-to-back Euro in 2008 and 2012, making it one of the greatest football teams of all time.

The left-footed shotstopper made his senior debut in 1999 after coming through Real Madrid’s youth system at the age of 18 and went on to make a whopping 725 appearance for Los Blancos in over 16 seasons, winning five La Liga titles and UEFA Champions League three times.

Casillas was never given a farewell he deserved in Real Madrid as he made a tearful exit in 2015 after announcing his departure from his boyhood club, a move for which the Spanish club was heavily criticized. 

"The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football joined us at the age of 9," Real Madrid said in a statement here on Tuesday.

“He was formed here and defended our shirt for 25 years, becoming one of our most emblematic captains of all time. Iker Casillas earned the love of madridismo and is a symbol of the values that Real Madrid represents.”

Casillas holds the record for most appearances in UEFA Champions League – 177 – as well as most clean sheets in the history of the competition – 57.