- Veteran Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced on Tuesday that he will retire from football at the age of 39, after a long career spanning more than 20 years in stadiums, most notably with Real Madrid and the team that went as world champion in 2010.
“Today is at the same time one of the most important and difficult days in my sporting life. It is time to say goodbye,” Casillas wrote in a statement on his social media accounts.
Casillas’ announcement of his retirement was recently expected, especially after he avoided rivalries with Porto, who moved to Portugal in 2015, where he suffered a heart attack in early May 2019.
Casillas fought a legendary career with Real Madrid (1999-2015), who grew up in his ranks, as the club’s website described him as “the best goalkeeper in our history.”
He played 725 games, the second historically behind record-holder Raul Gonzalez with 741 games, and capped 19 titles, most notably 3 in the Champions League, 5 in the Spanish League, and two in the Spanish Cup.
In 2015, the goalkeeper moved to Porto, with whom he won the League twice and the Cup once.
He also carried the captain of the Spanish national team, where he played 167 international matches, and was part of a golden squad that won three consecutive big titles: the 2010 World Cup and the European Cup in 2008 and 2012.
Casillas maintained his presence in the perfect squad for FIFA (Vivpro’s best 11 players) for 5 consecutive years between 2008 and 2012.
He expressed his desire to run for the presidency of the Spanish Federation for the game in February, before he abandoned it last June, because of the situation arising from the epidemic of Coronavirus that appears in his country.
According to local press reports last July, Casillas will return to Real Madrid to occupy an advisory position to club president Florentino Perez.