53 Facts About Iker Casillas


Iker Casillas Fernandez is a Spanish former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

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Popularly dubbed "San Iker" for his ability to produce spectacular saves, Casillas is widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

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Iker Casillas is known for his athleticism, quick reactions and outstanding shot-stopping ability.

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At club level, Iker Casillas started his career with the Real Madrid youth team, eventually gaining promotion to the main team in 1999, where he became the youngest goalkeeper to play in the final of the Champions League, and to win the title, at 19 years and four days.

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Iker Casillas became the first choice goalkeeper at Real Madrid, winning two Champions Leagues and La Liga titles in his first three seasons, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

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Iker Casillas ended his playing career in February 2020, after almost a year on the sidelines following a heart attack he suffered during a training session with Porto in May 2019.

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An unused substitute at UEFA Euro 2000, Iker Casillas became the nation's first choice goalkeeper at the 2002 World Cup, and went on to play at UEFA Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

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Iker Casillas led Spain to their first World Cup win in 2010, where he kept a joint–record five clean sheets, winning the Yashin Award for the best goalkeeper of the tournament.

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In 2014, Iker Casillas became one of four players to represent Spain at four World Cups.

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In 2008, Iker Casillas placed fourth overall in the Ballon d'Or, and has been selected for the UEFA Team of the Year six consecutive times from 2007 to 2012, a record for a goalkeeper.

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Iker Casillas was selected in the FIFPro World XI a record five times for a goalkeeper, and was named as the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper a record five times, alongside Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer.

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Iker Casillas was named as the second best goalkeeper of the 21st century, behind Buffon, and the second best goalkeeper of the past 25 years by the same organisation.

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Iker Casillas was born on 20 May 1981 in Mostoles, province of Madrid, to Jose Luis Iker Casillas, a civil servant in the Ministry of Education, and Maria del Carmen Fernandez Gonzalez, a hairdresser.

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Iker Casillas has a brother, seven years younger, named Unai, who used to play as a central midfielder for CD Mostoles.

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The brothers' forenames are of Basque origin due to a family connection to the region: their paternal grandfather – an officer in the Civil Guard – was posted to Bilbao and settled in the city, their father grew up there as a result and Iker Casillas lived in the area as a small child before the family relocated to Madrid.

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On one occasion as a young child, when he was seven or eight, Iker Casillas forgot to post his father's football predictions for the weekend; his father had correctly predicted all 15 results, and the family lost out on an estimated €1.

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Iker Casillas came on and pulled off several key saves to deny a rampant Bayer Leverkusen the Champions League crown.

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Iker Casillas's performances earned him a spot in the UEFA Team of the Year for the second time.

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In February 2009, Iker Casillas equalled Paco Buyo's record of 454 matches played for a goalkeeper and has since surpassed it to become Real Madrid's most-capped goalkeeper of all time at only 27 years old.

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Iker Casillas had been linked with other Premier League clubs before but Casillas himself stated that he "had no intention of leaving" his boyhood club.

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On 22 December 2012, Iker Casillas was dropped by Jose Mourinho for a Liga match against Malaga in favour of Antonio Adan.

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Iker Casillas made his first start in 238 days in the Champions League group stage match against Galatasaray, but was injured in the 14th minute after Sergio Ramos caught him with an accidental elbow as the goalkeeper came from his line to make a routine catch.

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Real Madrid's conduct in his exit was criticised, with Iker Casillas' parents claiming that he was being forced out of the club by president Florentino Perez, who received calls to quit from fans.

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Iker Casillas made 31 league appearances throughout the season as Porto finished in second place, but his season was cut short after he suffered "an acute myocardial infarction" during training on 1 May 2019.

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On 4 August 2020, Iker Casillas officially announced his retirement from professional football.

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Iker Casillas is currently the second most capped player in the history of the Spain national team.

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Iker Casillas was part of the roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, initially as the understudy to Santiago Canizares.

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At 21, Iker Casillas was one of the youngest first-choice goalkeepers in the tournament.

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Iker Casillas played in all eight Group six fixtures during Euro 2004 qualifying, conceding just four goals.

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Iker Casillas started the first two Group D games against Russia and Sweden before being rested in place of second-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina for Spain's group stage elimination of Greece.

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Iker Casillas kept clean sheets in all of the quarter-final, semi-final and final matches, with Sweden's first round goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic being the last one scored against him.

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On 29 June 2008, Iker Casillas became the first goalkeeper-captain to lift the UEFA European Championship trophy when Spain beat Germany in the final.

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Iker Casillas was the highest-ranked goalkeeper in the 2008 Ballon d'Or, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and national teammate Fernando Torres.

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Iker Casillas came in third place in the best goalkeepers of all time ranking, beating Oliver Kahn.

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Iker Casillas was Spain's starting goalkeeper during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, making four appearances as Spain finished the tournament in third place.

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Two months later, Iker Casillas made his 100th appearance for Spain in its friendly win over Argentina, making him only the third player in history of Spanish football to ever reach this far internationally.

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Iker Casillas was voted the tournament's best goalkeeper, being named to the 2010 World Cup Dream Team, and was awarded the Golden Glove.

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Iker Casillas set another record with his 509 minutes without conceding a goal in that year's European Championship, keeping five consecutive clean sheets and breaking the longstanding tally of 494 minutes set by Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff.

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In June 2014, Iker Casillas was selected to represent Spain in his fourth World Cup.

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Iker Casillas received criticism for his role in Chile's second goal, where he punched Alexis Sanchez's free kick into the path of the goalscorer Charles Aranguiz.

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Iker Casillas equalled the Latvian Vitalijs Astafjevs' European record of 167 caps on 27 March 2016 by playing in a friendly against Romania.

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On 31 May, Iker Casillas was named to Vicente del Bosque's final 23-man Spain squad for Euro 2016.

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On 21 May 2018, Iker Casillas was left out of Julen Lopetegui's final 23-man Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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Iker Casillas has won everything there is to win and has been on the same great level for so many years now, which is possibly hardest of all for a goalkeeper.

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Widely considered by pundits, as well as both former and current goalkeeping colleagues, as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Casillas was given the nickname "San Iker" throughout his career, for his precocious performances as a youngster, and due to his ability to produce acrobatic and decisive saves.

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Iker Casillas was known for his ability to save the ball with his feet, with former goalkeeper Manuel Almunia likening him to compatriot Luis Arconada, who served as an inspiration to Casillas, and to whom he was often compared throughout his career, due to his quick reactions, movement, and excellent footwork.

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Iker Casillas received criticism in the media for a series of errors and less consistent performances in his later career, as he lost some of his speed and mobility with age due to his physical decline.

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In January 2012, Iker Casillas agreed a sponsorship deal with Adidas to wear their Response goalkeeping gloves and Predator football boots.

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In February 2005, Iker Casillas was the football face of Reebok's "I Am What I Am" global integrated advertising campaign that linked all the brand's marketing efforts under one umbrella.

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Iker Casillas was in a relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero from 2009 to 2021.

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On 1 May 2019, during Porto's morning training session, Iker Casillas was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack at the club's training ground, where his situation was stabilized.

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On 17 February 2020, Iker Casillas confirmed his intention to stand as a candidate in the RFEF presidential elections.

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In 2011, Iker Casillas was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme's Millennium Development Goals.

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