Iker Casillas Profile
|Born||May 20, 1981|
Iker Casillas can rightly call himself one of the greatest goalkeepers to ever play the game. A legend of Real Madrid and Spain, he retired from the game in 2019 with plenty of medals and trophies.
Iker Casillas is a Spanish former goalkeeper. He is most famous for his starring role for Real Madrid and the Spain national team and also played for FC Porto.
Casillas made the UEFA Team of the Year a record six consecutive times between 2007 and 2012. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation, alongside Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer, and one of the greatest of all time.
Casillas won five La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League crowns, one Portuguese Primeira Liga, one FIFA World Cup and two European Championships.
The growth of a club icon at Real Madrid
Casillas came through the Real Madrid academy, beginning his youth career in 1990/91, and made his La Liga debut in a 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao at San Mames in September 1999.
Three days later, he started against Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, making him the youngest goalkeeper ever to feature in the competition at the time. Casillas was 18 years and 177 days old - a record only beaten by Benfica's Mile Svilar in 2017.
In May 2000, Casillas became the youngest goalkeeper to play in and win a UEFA Champions League final as Los Blancos beat Valencia 3-0 four days after he turned 19.
In 2001/02, Casillas lost his place to Cesar Sanchez after a run of poor form, but replaced Sanchez in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen, making a string of important saves to seal a 2-1 victory for Real Madrid.
In 2000/01 and 2002/03, Casillas won La Liga with Real Madrid. After a dry spell, they claimed the title again in 2006/07 and then followed up with another league success in 2007/08 - a particularly productive season for Casillas. He conceded only 32 goals in 36 league appearances to win the Ricardo Zamora trophy for the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio.
In February 2008, Casillas and team-mate Raul were awarded lifetime Real Madrid contracts. At the age of only 27, during the 2008/09 season, Casillas surpassed Paco Buyo to become Real Madrid's most capped goalkeeper of all time.
In 2009, Casillas was linked with Manchester City and Manchester United, but he stayed at Real Madrid. During a match against Sevilla in October, he made a famous save to deny Diego Perotti from close range one-on-one, scrambling from one side of his goal to the other.
Casillas became Real Madrid's first captain during the 2010/11 season under Jose Mourinho. In 2011/12, Los Blancos reclaimed La Liga from Barcelona, securing a record 100 points.
However, in December 2012, Mourinho benched Casillas in favour of Antonio Adan. The relationship between Casillas and Mourinho was strained thereafter. Mourinho signed Diego Lopez in January 2013 and he became the club's new first-choice goalkeeper. Real Madrid finished second in La Liga in 2012/13, some distance behind Barcelona, and did not win any major trophies.
Carlo Ancelotti replaced Mourinho ahead of the 2013/14 season and utilised Casillas as first choice in the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey, preferring Lopez in La Liga.
Real Madrid finally claimed their sought-after 10th UEFA Champions League crown, known widely as La Decima. They beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the final after extra time and Casillas captained his team to victory. However, Atletico won La Liga.
Casillas became the first-choice goalkeeper again in the 2014/15 season. However, despite a bright start to the season from Real, it was again Barcelona's season as they went on to complete the treble.
Casillas departed for FC Porto at the end of the season. He had made 725 appearances for Real Madrid - some distance ahead of the previous record for a goalkeeper, Buyo's 454.
Apart from his five La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns, Casillas won the Copa del Rey, Intercontinental Cup and UEFA Super Cup twice apiece, as well as the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.
Moving on from the Bernabeu
Casillas joined Porto on 11 July, 2015, signing a two-year contract with the option of extension for an additional year.
Real Madrid's handling of his exit was widely criticised, with Casillas' parents claiming Florentino Perez had forced him out. Casillas' Spain team-mate Xavi criticised Real Madrid for their treatment of the club icon.
The 2015/16 season saw Casillas break Xavi's record for most appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Edwin van der Sar's all-time Champions League shutouts record.
After Porto won the 2017/18 top-flight title, Casillas extended his contract with the club.
Casillas was hospitalised in May 2019 after suffering a heart attack, casting doubts over his soccer future. He did not initially hang up his gloves, but finally announced his retirement from the game on 4 August, 2020 after an incredible 1,052 career appearances for his clubs and country.
Breaking records with Spain
Casillas was the goalkeeper during the most successful period in the Spanish national team's history. He gained 167 caps - the second-most ever for Spain behind Sergio Ramos - and won three major international tournaments as the keeper in the most successful team in Spanish soccer history.
At Euro 2008, Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the final under Luis Aragones. After Vicente del Bosque replaced him as coach, their success continued.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Casillas was in goal as Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final at FNB Stadium thanks to an extra time strike from Andres Iniesta.
At the 2012 European Championships, Spain and Casillas reigned supreme once again, beating Italy 4-0 in the final. They became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships and the first to win three major championships on the spin.
Casillas continued to be the starting goalkeeper for Spain for several more years before David De Gea eventually took his place between the posts, ending one of the most successful and long-lasting international careers the sport has ever seen.
Casillas is married to Sara Carbonero and the pair have two sons, MartÃn and Lucas. In the same year as Casillas' heart attack, he and his wife revealed that she was battling ovarian cancer.
During his childhood, Casillas once reportedly forgot to post his father's soccer predictions for the weekend and cost his family an estimated â‚¬1.2million after he had correctly predicted all 15 results.
Casillas' net worth is unknown, but he picked up a reported salary of £1.7million during the beginning of his time at FC Porto, drawing scrutiny from former manager and foe Mourinho.
in a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Mourinho said: "This season Porto pay €20m for Imbula, they give Casillas an amazing salary. Sporting [Lisbon] are paying millions for coaches and players. Football breaks every situation."