World Cup winner Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from football.
Casillas, 39, has not played since suffering a heart attack in April 2018.
Announcing his retirement on Twitter, Casillas, who starred at club level for Real Madrid and then Porto, said: “The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you.
“I think I can say, without hesitation, that it has been the path and the dream destination.”
Real Madrid have paid tribute already, labelling Casillas, who joined the Spanish giants at the age of nine, as the best goalkeeper in the 118-year history of the club.
“Real Madrid wants to show its appreciation, admiration and love for one of the greatest legends of our club and world football,” read the statement on the club’s website.
“Iker Casillas has earned the love of Real Madrid and is a benchmark of the values that represent Real Madrid.
“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.”
Casillas captained Spain to the World Cup in 2010, emerging as the leader of La Roja’s golden era.
He also lifted the European Championships in both 2008 and 2012, as Spain swept all before them under first Luis Aragones and then Vicente Del Bosque.
Altogether he made 167 appearances for his country.
For Real Madrid, he appeared on 725 occasions during a trophy-laden career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
During 16 seasons he won 19 trophies, including five La Liga titles and three European Cups, having originally debuted as a teenager.
He joined Porto in 2015, but has not played since April 2019, having suffered a heart attack in training.
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