Iker Casillas - Player Profile

Casillas Bids Farewell To 25-Year Madrid Career

Personal information
Full name: Iker Casillas Fernandez
Date of birth: 20 May 1981
Age: 34
Place of birth: Mostoles, Spain
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position: Goalkeeper

Club information
Current team: Porto

Youth Career
1990–1998: Real Madrid

Senior career
1998–1999: Real Madrid C 26 Appearances, 0 goals
1999: Real Madrid B 4 Appearances, 0 goals
1999–2015: Real Madrid 725 Appearances, 0 goals
2015– Porto 0 Appearances

National team
1996 Spain U15 1 Appearances, 0 goals
1996–1998 Spain U16 19 Appearances, 0 goals
1997–1999 Spain U17 10 Appearances, 0 goals
1999 Spain U18 4 Appearances, 0 goals
1999 Spain U20 2 Appearances, 0 goals
1999–2000 Spain U21 5 Appearances, 0 goals
2000– Spain 162 Appearances, 0 goals

Iker Casillas' 25-year association with Real Madrid ended this past weekend with the club announcing the departure of their veteran captain to Porto. The 34-year-old had two years left on his contract with Real, but after three difficult seasons and amidst constant transfer speculation at the end of the 2014/15 season, the captain has left for a fresh start. Casillas is expected to sign a two-year deal with Porto, with an option to extend his stay for a further season. Real will reportedly pay up to 50 percent of his wages.

Casillas joined Real's youth academy in 1990 and has been with the club ever since, winning 17 major honours in that time. He played 16 years with the first team and made 725 official appearances for the club - second behind Raul's 741 - since making his first-team debut in 1999.
 A World Cup winner and two-time European champion with Spain, Casillas owns five Primera Division titles with Real, as well as three Champions League trophies and two Copa del Rey crowns. Casillas is no longer the unbeatable force he once was between the posts, and he followed up a dreadful 2014 World Cup with Spain with an error-strewn term for Real. However, he still has much to offer at Porto, not least a vast amount of experience and a great ability to read a game. Having conceded just 13 goals in the league last year, a goalkeeper would not have been a priority for the Dragons, but Casillas will presumably take over from last season's No. 1 Fabiano, who has gone on loan to Fenerbahce.

The Legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper bid an emotional farewell to the club after it was confirmed he would be joining Porto this summer. The Spanish World Cup winner held a press conference on Sunday outlining the reasons for leaving the Spanish capital and was teary-eyed when revealing his time as a Los Blancos star has been a dream come true: “It only seems like yesterday that I wore the Real Madrid jersey for the first time as a nine-year-old. I saw my dream fulfilled. During this time, I’ve felt very loved and accompanied. This club have also formed me as a person and helped me grow. I’ve always tried to carry their values. Throughout these years, I’ve experienced unique moments. I leave great friends behind, but I know I can always count on them. I also want to thank all my Coaches. I remember them all because of all the many things that I’ve learned from them. I also [want to thank] the various coaching staff for giving me advice and understanding in bad times and entire club staff, who have been part of Real Madrid. They’re not seen but are always there. Thank you to my parents and family, who have always been by my side, plus my wife and son. Thank you Real Madrid for your unconditional support, being your captain for the last five years and being able to lift trophies. Above all, more so than being remembered as a good or bad goalkeeper, I hope that I’m remembered for being a good person”.

The Spaniard remains an excellent stopper, and regardless of whether they needed him, Porto have done well to fend off competition for a player of his almost unrivalled pedigree. The 34-year-old will likely enjoy regular football and can use next season as a lengthy audition to play for Spain in the 2016 European Championship. Furthermore, Casillas could well thrive away from the Bernabeu. He has taken a huge amount of criticism at Madrid lately, which cannot have helped his performances. Casillas is still a quality goalkeeper, but his time in the high-pressure environment at Real Madrid has come to an end. Madrid’s loss will be to Porto’s immense gain. Not only are the Portuguese giants getting a capable goalkeeper, but they now have a leader and an inspiration among their ranks. For a team that have been looking to step up and join the elite European sides, his influence will be vital. The manner in which Casillas has left Madrid does leave a sour taste. Granted, it’s hard to know what happened behind the scenes, but in a summer which has seen many legends move on to new chapters in their careers, the Spanish goalkeeper should have been revered by Los Blancos as the great that he was, is and will continue to be in the eyes of many Madridistas.