11:40 GMT27 September 2020
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    One of football’s most successful goalkeepers, with both Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, is saying goodbye to his sports career more than a year after suffering a heart attack.

    Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced on Twitter that he's retiring from professional football.

    "The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you. Because with work and effort, I think I can say, without hesitation, that it is has been the path and the dream destination. Thank you", he wrote.

    Real Madrid FC has also expressed admiration for a player who played in 725 competitive matches for them during 16 seasons between 1999 and 2015.

    "The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football came to our house when he was nine years old. He defended our shirt 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 Real Madrid represents. Today, one of the most important footballers in our 118-year history, a player whom we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has enhanced the legend of Real Madrid with his work and with exemplary behaviour both on and off the pitch, says goodbye as a professional player", the football club said in a statement.

    On 15 June, Casillas stated he would not run for the presidency of the Spanish football federation, saying that he changed his mind due to "the exceptional social, economic, and health situation that our country is suffering". The 39-year-old former Spain captain announced his candidacy in February, emphasising that he wanted to bring the federation to the same level of Spanish football, which he said was "the best in the world".

    The football star played 167 times for Spain, also winning two European championships in 2008 and 2012, and made more than 700 appearances for Real Madrid, with whom he garnered five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times, before joining Porto in 2015.

    Casillas was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI five years in a row between 2008 and 2012. In May 2019, he suffered a heart attack during training and has not played another competitive match since then.

    retirement, Iker Casillas, goalkeeper, football, Spain
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