Iker Casillas retirement: Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper retires

Casillas won the World Cup, two European Championships, five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies

Iker Casillas is set for his 151st Champions League appearance
Image: Iker Casillas spent the last five years of his career with Porto from 2015 to 2020

Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from professional football after playing over 1,000 matches.

The 39-year-old, who holds the record for most Champions League clean sheets and most clean sheets for Spain, spent the last five years of his career playing for Porto after his 25-year spell with Real ended in 2015.

Casillas won the World Cup, two European Championships, five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies during an illustrious career.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 13:  Iker Casillas of Real Madrid CF holds up the La Liga trophy as he celebrates with team-mates after the La Liga match between Real
Image: Casillas won five La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey twice

He also lifted the Supercopa de Espana four times, the UEFA Super Cup twice and the FIFA Club World Cup during his time in the Spanish capital.

After moving to Portugal at the age of 34, Casillas continued to win more silverware, winning the top-flight Primeira Liga in 2018 - although he did not feature last season as Porto won the league-and-cup double.

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas lifts the World Cup throphy
Image: Casillas - who has 167 caps for Spain - lifts the World Cup trophy in 2010

Casillas has been awarded the La Liga Best Goalkeeper gong twice, been voted into the FIFA FIFPro World XI five times, won the World Cup Golden Glove in 2010 and was named Primeira Liga Best Goalkeeper for 2019.

He is the second most-capped Spain player of all time, playing in four World Cups, and holds the record for most appearances, most clean sheets and most penalty saves in Champions League history.

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Casillas, who recovered from a heart attack in 2019 and declared his intention to run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation in February, posted an emotional message on Twitter confirming his retirement.

"The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination that it takes you," Casillas said

"Because that with work and effort comes alone and I think I can say, without hesitation, that it has been the path and the dream destination."

Real captain Sergio Ramos reacted to the news by posting: "Soccer thanks you, friend. Forever a legend @IkerCasillas."

'The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid'

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 05: Iker Casillas of Real Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League semi final match between Juventus and Real Madrid at Juventus
Image: Casillas made 725 appearances for Real over 16 seasons between 1999 and 2015

Real hailed Casillas as the club's greatest goalkeeper and one of their finest players.

"Real Madrid wants to show its appreciation, admiration and affection for one of the greatest legends of our club and world soccer," read a statement on the Spanish champions' website.

"The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football came to our house when he was nine years old.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12: Iker Casillas of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Espanyol and Real Madrid at the  Nuevo Estadio de Cor
Image: Casillas sits second on the list of all-time appearances for Real

"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 with exemplary behaviour both inside and outside, says goodbye as a professional player.

"Iker Casillas belongs to the heart of Real Madrid and will be so forever. Real Madrid wants to convey to him and his family the affection of our club, which is the club of his life."

Man City vs Real exempt from Spain quarantine rules

Pep Guardiola shows concern for Sergio Aguero as he limps off against Burnley 0:23
Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero will not be fit enough to play vs Real Madrid

Manchester City's second-leg clash with Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League will be exempt from the re-imposed 14-day quarantine rule on travellers from Spain, the UK government has confirmed.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has told Sky Sports News that the current guidelines remain in place for enabling selected elite international sporting events to take place this summer.

They stipulate that "exempted individuals will live and work in controlled "bubbled" environments behind closed doors," and that this applies to "sports stars, event officials, coaches, medics, mechanics and incoming members of the media."

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