Iker Casillas named time for an illustrious 22-year career on Tuesday as he conveyed a heartfelt message to his social media followers announcing his decision.

Status as a legend of the game was secured long ago

Leo Messi has paid tribute to Real Madrid hero Iker Casillas after his retirement, insisting that the goalkeeper’s “status as a legend of the game was secured long ago”. Casillas named time for an illustrious 22-year career on Tuesday as he conveyed a heartfelt message to his social media followers announcing his decision. He wrote on social media: “What matters most is the path you are traveling and the people accompanying you, not the place where you are going. I think I can say without hesitation that this was the right path and the dream destination. Thanks.” Casillas served as Madrid’s No. 1 goalkeeper from 1999 to 2015, winning five LaLiga titles and four European Cups and 725 appearances for the club.

 

The 39-year-old also enjoyed unprecedented international success. He helped Spain secure a back-to-back European Championship with the 2010 World Cup triumph wedged in between.

Messi praised Cassilas for his fantastic goalkeeping career

Barcelona superstar Messi has faced Casillas on multiple occasions while he was at the Santiago Bernabeu. Their fights in El Clasico are destined to live long in the memory of supporters from both clubs. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner acknowledged the Spaniard’s accomplishments after seeing him hang up his gloves. Messi said: “Iker is retiring today, but his status as a game legend has been secured for a long time.  Not just because he was one of the best players of LaLiga, but also because he won everything internationally”. Messi also reached out directly to Casillas to thank the goalkeeper for bringing the best out of him. He added: “You are a fantastic goalkeeper and were an adamant opponent, I must say. Looking back, I think it was an extraordinary rivalry that pushed us to reach new levels every time we faced each other.”

Casillas took on a new challenge in the Primeira Liga after leaving Madrid, signing a two-year contract with Porto. The Veteran shot-stopper added two more championship titles to his collection. He played 156 games across all competitions before being struck down with a heart attack in May 2019. The Madrid great has moved on to coaching at Porto after full recovery. He has publicly expressed his desire to run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in March. Casillas eventually withdrew amid the coronavirus outbreak, and his next role in the game was to begin at the Bernabeu as an advisor to Madrid president Florentino Perez.