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Spanish World Cup Winner and Real Madrid Legend Iker Casillas Announces Retirement

Iker Casillas (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Iker Casillas (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Spanish goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas called time on his career at the age of 39.

Spanish goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 39 on Tuesday. Casillas had won the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain and lifted five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies during his time at Real Madrid.

Casillas called time on his career after earlier ending his five-year spell at Porto in July with his contract expiring.

The former Real Madrid captain had moved to the Portuguese club after a teary-eyed farewell from Real Madrid.

Casillas had suffered a heart attack during a training session last year and has not played any competitive football since April, 2019.

"Today is both one of the most important and most difficult days of my sporting life, the time to say goodbye has arrived," he said on Twitter.

"The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not where it takes you, because that comes with work and effort alone, and I think I can say, without hesitation, that the path I have taken is the one I dreamt about #Thanks," he further said.

Casillas was given a role on Porto's technical staff at the start of last season and was included in the first-team squad, although he was never named in a matchday squad.

He played 167 times for the national team, winning the 2010 World Cup and the Euros in 2008 and 2012 in a golden age for Spanish football.

"The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football joined us at the age of 9. He was formed here and defended our shirt for 25 years, becoming one of our most emblematic captains of all time," the club said in a statement.

"Today one of the most important footballers in our 118 years of history calls it a day as a professional player, a player we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has made the Real Madrid legacy bigger with his work and exemplary behaviour both on and off the pitch," they added.

In June he said he was ending his bid to run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

(With inputs from agencies)