The game of football has taken the world by storm and has a fan base in almost every region and continent making it a global sport. Most fans will remember the moments where the striker scores a beautiful goal and the stadium goes wild. The Goalkeepers rarely get the plaudits they deserve for the crucial role they play protecting their team and keeping their defense organized. There have been many great Goalies to grace football on the European stage for the great clubs and one of those individuals is Iker Casillas. Born May 20, 1981 in Mòstoles Spain, he worked his way up to the peak of Spanish football at the Bernabeu.
He joined the ranks at Real Madrid when he was 9 and impressed till he ended up in the first team and never looked back. Making his debut for the senior team in 1999 and in the course of his career played with many great players to grace the white of Madrid. In his 16 seasons at the Bernabeu, he set records to earn himself a place in both Spanish and European history. They include the most clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League (59), Most Champions League appearances (177), Most consecutive Champions League Seasons (20) among others. He also set the record for the youngest goalkeeper to play in a European Cup final at age 19, a night he left with a winners medal that would be the first of many. Iker went from young prodigy to the first name on the team sheet making him a club icon in the Spanish capital.
In his 16 years at Madrid, he helped them to 5 La Liga titles, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 2 Copa Del Rey, 3 Champions League titles, 2 Uefa Super Cup titles in addition to a FIFA Club World Cup. He left Spain in 2015 on a free transfer without much fanfare in a move that irked the fan base and moved to F.C. Porto in Portugal. During his four seasons at the club, he was a starter as much as he could play added to his medal collection winning the Primera Liga among others. In May 2019, he suffered a heart attack in a training session that would keep him out of action until his retirement which was hinted in February but was only announced by him on August 4, 2020.
The announcement brought waves of Eulogies from football’s big names within and outside Spain. His long and trophy laden career made him a great but not just for his club sides but as a national team icon. Making his debut for La Roja in the 2002 world cup, he went on to make 167 appearances eventually becoming captain in 2008. He led the team to a European title that year and to their first world cup win in 2010 as well as another European crown in 2012. In 2014, he became the first player to appear for Spain in 4 World Cups. A true icon who ended in style celebrating with his Porto team as they defeated Benfica to clinch the Portuguese Cup.