The former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper has announced his retirement from football, aged 39. During his time in Spain, he appeared 725 times for Real Madrid over a career spanning 16 years there. While there, he won 3 champions leagues and 5 league titles.

He joined Porto in 2015 however unfortunately suffered a heart attack in April 2019. He hasn’t featured for them since. While recovering, the club kindly offered him a role as a coach around the training ground. For the club, he made 156 appearances and won two league titles and the Portuguese cup.

Casillas announced his retirement on Twitter by saying: ‘The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you, 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’.

His tweet announcing retirement has received over 135,000 likes and 40,000 retweets.

Real Madrid wrote on their website: ‘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.’

He was due to be running for President of the Spanish Football Federation, the Spanish equivalent of the UK’s FA or EFL, however he withdrew on the ‘exceptional social, economic and health situation’ terms of the country as the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the country.

There is no doubt that Real Madrid, Porto and Spain fans will do their best to honour him in the correct way, keeping in mind the current pandemic guidelines. He will go down as a legend in many people’s eyes and the club’s eyes. Not many players stay at a single club for a 16-year spell. He was a special player, made plenty impossible saves and kept Real in many different matches.

His mentality and mindset were second to none. He always played his best and put himself on the line for his team. He never let the pressure get to him and stayed calm in all situations. He never let his head go down when he conceded a goal, he learnt from it and went again.

All the best for retirement, Iker!