Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Former Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas to announce retirement

Porto goalkeeper, who is recovering from heart attack, expected to make announcement on Friday

Iker Casillas will retire from professional football just weeks after recovering from a heart attack, according to media reports.

The Porto goalkeeper is expected to announce his decision on Friday after suffering from a heart attack while training with the Portuguese club.

Casillas, 37, is one of the most successful football players of all time, having led Spain to the 2010 World Cup win, as well as back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012. His exploits for the national team earned him the nickname 'Saint Iker' and made him one of the best known personalities in Spain.

Born in Mostoles, Madrid, Casillas burst onto the scene when he made his debut for boyhood club Real as a teenager in 1999, having come through the club's ranks.

During his 16-year stint at Real, Casillas won La Liga five times besides lifting the Uefa Champions League trophy on three occasions, in 2000, 2002 and 2014. He also helped win two Copa del Rey titles, two Uefa Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and the Fifa World Club Cup.

He joined FC Porto in 2015 and recently extended his contract to 2020 with the option of an additional 12 months. He said Porto had told him they wanted to keep him until he turned 40.

Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa on Thursday said he wanted to keep Casillas on staff.

"Casillas still has a year left on his contract and we want him to remain part of FC Porto's structure, and not only for one year," Da Costa told Thursday's sports daily O Jogo. "Casillas is one of us and he will always have a place at FC Porto."

Casillas, who underwent surgery on May 1, left hospital after five days and said he was "lucky" to be alive but had no immediate plans for the future. "The important thing is to be here... I don't know what the future may bring," he said.

Updated: May 17, 2019 02:54 PM

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