Spain’s legendary goalkeeper and one the all-time great, Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 39.
The World Cup winning captain of Spain hanged up his gloves after a stellar career. He won the Champions League on three occasions with Real and two European Championships with Spain alongside World Cup triumph.
He suffered a heart attack during a training session with Porto in May last year but returned a couple of months later.
However, Casillas didn't return to action during the course of the season and has now decided to finish his career.
The legendary footballer made the announcement via Tweet 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, I think I can say, without hesitation, that is has been the path and the dream destination,” he concluded.
La Liga giants Real Madrid also paid touching tribute to the player writing: “Real Madrid CF wants to show his appreciation, admiration and love for one of the greatest legends of our club and world football.
“The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football came to our house when he was nine years old.
“Here our shirt was formed and defended for 25 years, being forever one of our most iconic captains. Iker Casillas has earned the love of Real Madrid and is a benchmark of the values that represent Real Madrid.
“Today, one of the most important footballers in our 118-year history, a player whom we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has enlarged the legend of Real Madrid with his work and with exemplary behavior both inside and outside, says goodbye as a professional player.”
Casillas made 725 appearances for the Spanish Club over the course of 16 seasons between 1999 and 2015. He won a total of 19 titles with Madrid which includes: three European Cups, three Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, five Leagues, two King's Cups and four Spanish Super Cups.
In Portugal, with Porto, he has achieved two Leagues, one Cup and one Super Cup. And he has been international with Spain on 167 occasions with which he has won one World Cup, two Euro Cups and one U-20 World Cup.