Iker Casillas has hung up the gloves. The legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper announced his retirement from world football at the end of a 22-year playing career after suffering a health scare, vowing to explore options away from the pitch.
The 39-year-old logged 725 appearances at goal for Real Madrid en route to five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. Iker Casillas led his home country of Spain to a World Cup title in 2010 and captured equal success in the European Championship with wins in 2008 and 2012, enjoying a magic ride throughout those four years.
He moved to Porto in 2015, where he capped 156 outings at goal and two more title in the Primeira Liga in Portugal.
Casillas had yet to compete since suffering a serious health scare in 2019. He recovered from a heart attack and was named to Porto’s squad for the 2019-20 season, but did not appear once for his team.
Iker Casillas took to social media to announce his retirement, vowing to be involved with world football in some capacity after hanging up the gloves:
Translation via Goal.com:
“The most important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination that it takes you,” wrote the Real Madrid legend.
“I think I can say, without hesitation, that this has been the right path and the dream destination. Thanks.”
Lo importante es el camino que recorres y la gente que te acompaña, no el destino al que te lleva, porque eso con trabajo y esfuerzo, llega solo y creo que puedo decir, sin dudar, que ha sido el camino y el destino soñado #Grac1as pic.twitter.com/xb8ucs9REh
— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) August 4, 2020
Casillas recently announced his decision to run for president of the Spanish Football Federation, a job that would keep him plenty involved with the sport long after saying goodbye to the pitch.
Real Madrid acknowledged his retirement on its website with one last nod of admiration:
“The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football came to our house when he was nine years old. Here our bond was formed and defended for 25 years, being forever one of our most iconic captains. Iker Casillas has earned the love of Real Madrid and is a benchmark of the values that represent Real Madrid.
“Today, one of the most important footballers in our 118-year history, a player whom we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has enlarged the legend of Real Madrid with his work and exemplary behavior both on and off the field, says goodbye as a professional player.”
Needless to say, this won’t be the last time the name Iker Casillas is heard, even if he isn’t between two goal posts.