Madrid, Spain | XINHUA | Former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, after 725 games for Real Madrid, 156 for Porto and a record 167 caps for the Spanish national team.
The 39-year-old confirmed in an open letter that he had hung up his boots after his contract with Porto expired.
“Today is one of the most important, and at the same time, difficult days in my sporting career. The time has come to say goodbye,” wrote Casillas.
“My career in the world of football began 30 years ago. It has been a long road and like all roads, it has had good moments and less good ones. It has had moments of happiness and also sadness, but at this time in my life, and with perspective, I can say there is no doubt it has been worthwhile,” he continued.
Casillas made his Real Madrid debut in 1999, and made his first appearance for his country the following year. He was captain for Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup triumph and their Euro 2008 and 2012 wins, but a breakdown in relations with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez resulted in his move to Porto in 2015.
He was a regular for the Portuguese club until he suffered a heart attack in training on May 1, 2019. Although he returned to training, Casillas did not play a competitive match again.
The legendary goalkeeper’s future now looks to be in the administrative side of football, having earlier this year declared his interest in running for president of the Spanish Football Federation.