Spain’s first and only ever captain to lift FIFA World Cup, Iker Casillas retires from professional football at the age of 38. The Spanish goalkeeper, who had made more than 100 appearances for Spain and led Spain to two Euro and a World Cup made the decision in order to run for the President’s role in Spanish Football Federation.
Popularly known as ‘San Iker’, Casillas spent most of his days in the capital of Spain as the last man of defense for Real Madrid from 1998 to 2015. Making his debut in 1998, he played a total of 510 appearances for the ‘Los Blancos’ before joining the Portuguese club, FC Porto. In his tenure of 17 years, Casillas had a time flourished with trophies winning a total of 19 trophies for Real Madrid. Although leaving his best years behind in Spain, Casillas managed himself to win the Portuguese Premier League during his time at FC Porto.
Casillas was one of the members of the Spanish team who are popularly known as Spanish football’s “Golden Generation”, who decorated themselves winning the 2008 Euro Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2012 Euro Cup. Interestingly, Casillas was the man who captained Spain in all these three tournaments. Retiring after the 2016 Euro Cup for Spain, Casillas continued to play at the club level. In the meantime, he was also diagnosed with an ‘acute myocardial infarction’ in May 2019, before making a comeback in training in November 2019.
Always considered himself as a part of ‘Blanco’ i.e., part of Real Madrid, Casillas was one of the most decorated goalkeepers’ modern football ever got.