June 25, 2019
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Iker Casillas: A legend turns 38

 FC Porto's Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas speaks to journalists in front of the CUF Hospital in Porto, Portugal, May 6, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/RUI FARINHA

FC Porto's Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas speaks to journalists in front of the CUF Hospital in Porto, Portugal, May 6, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/RUI FARINHA

Lisbon, May 20 (efe-epa).- FIFA posted an 18-second video on Monday of Iker Casillas’ famous save during the 2010 World Cup to wish him a happy birthday.

“A World Cup winner turns 38 today. Feliz cumpleaños (Happy birthday), Iker Casillas,” FIFA posted to its official Twitter account.

The post was accompanied by a video of the Spanish goalkeeper's most recognizable moment of the World Cup when he blocked the Netherlands Arjen Robben’s attempt in the final.

Casillas, his family and a number of colleagues and friends in the soccer world were celebrating the Porto player's speedy recovery after he suffered a heart attack during a training session on May 1.

There has been plenty of speculation around his future in soccer, but nothing has been confirmed so far.

He asked his fans to be calm and not to pay attention to reports about his future.

With the Portuguese league coming to an end, Casillas has the support of fans, officials, coaching staff and teammates in whatever decision he takes.

Whether or not he will call an end to his career, it should be revealed before the preseason as Porto will have to seek out a replacement if he does decide to retire.

Casillas has had a successful career that saw him win a World Cup title and two Euros with Spain and three UEFA Champions Leagues and five La Liga titles with Real Madrid.

He left the Spanish capital in 2015 after a tense relationship with Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho.

Although a warm welcome was waiting for him at Porto, things were not easy during the first season as some people criticized him over a shaky performance.

However, time proved critics wrong as decisive saves by Casillas made him an idol both in and outside the dressing room and gave him back the nickname San Iker (Saint Iker).

Casillas had a great performance this season and there was talk about his returning to the national team.

Those close to him were happy that he was able to celebrate his 38th birthday in good health.

His partner and journalist Sara Carbonero posted a photo of her hugging him and wrote: “One more year, celebrating your life.”

Retired Portuguese winger Paolo Futre told EFE that he hopes “the best” for Casillas, whom he considered as an asset and an idol for children.

Casillas has several records under his belt, including 20 consecutive seasons playing in the Champions League, the most matches in Europe’s first tier club tournament with 176 games and the youngest player ever to play and win a Champions League final at 19 years and four days.

He made the FIFA/FIFPro World XI on five occasions and was named as the best goalkeeper in the world five times.

His career has also been recognized with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport, the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the Gold Medal of the Community of Madrid and the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit.

What remains to be seen is whether his legend will continue to grow on or off the playing field. EFE

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