Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Spain national team as a goalkeeper. Casillas began his youth career with Real Madrid in 1990. After gaining promotion to the senior team in 1999, he remained with the club for 16 seasons, later serving as the club’s captain. During his highly successful time at the Madrid club, he won five La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, four Supercopa de España titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, and the FIFA Club World Cup. With 725 appearances for the club, Casillas is Madrid’s second most capped player of all-time after Raúl. Casillas debuted for the Spain national team in June 2000 at the age of 19. To date, he has made a national record 167 appearances, making him the joint sixth-most capped male footballer in history, alongside Vitālijs Astafjevs, and the joint second-most capped European player of all time, behind only Gianluigi Buffon. He became the nation’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and went on to play at UEFA Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. In 2008, he was made captain of the Spanish team, leading them to their first European Championship in 44 years by winning Euro 2008. Under Casillas’s captaincy, Spain went on to win its first ever World Cup in 2010 and retain the European Championship in 2012. At the 2014 World Cup, Casillas and teammate Xavi joined Andoni Zubizarreta and Fernando Hierro in representing Spain at four World Cups. Having won the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award for a record five consecutive years, Casillas is considered as one of the greatest and most successful goalkeepers of all time, placing second behind Gianluigi Buffon in both the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper of the past decade and quarter-century awards in 2010. Nicknamed “San Iker” (“Saint Iker”) for his ability to produce spectacular saves, in his prime he was an athletic goalkeeper, known for his quick reactions and outstanding shot-stopping ability. Casillas was nominated for the European Footballer of the Year award in 2008, ranking fourth overall. At the end of 2012, he was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for a record sixth consecutive time; he also holds the record for most appearances by a goalkeeper in the FIFPro World XI. As of 2011, Casillas is one of a very select group of players who have won all major club and national championship titles. On 19 October 2010, he became the goalkeeper with most appearances of all time in the Champions League and in November 2011, he became the most capped player of all time for the Spain national team. In September 2015, he became the player with the most appearances in the UEFA Champions League. With 167 caps for the national team, Casillas is the third captain in football history to lift the World Cup trophy, the Champions League trophy and the European Championship trophy, after Franz Beckenbauer and Didier Deschamps.
Considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Casillas was given the nickname “San Iker” (“Saint Iker”) throughout his career, for his precocious performances as a youngster, and due to his ability to produce acrobatic and decisive saves. In his prime, he was a spectacular and athletic keeper, who was known in particular for his outstanding agility, reflexes, consistency and shot-stopping, as well as his foot-work, positioning between the posts, concentration, and speed when rushing off his line in one on one situations; he has also stood out for his penalty-saving abilities. In spite of his reserved character, he has been highly regarded for his strong personality, calm composure under pressure, and leadership from the back throughout his career. A precocious talent in his youth, Casillas has drawn praise for his longevity and consistency at the top level; despite his reputation and goalkeeping ability, however, due to his lack of notable height and strong physical attributes, he has been criticised at times by pundits for his handling and indecisiveness when coming out to claim crosses, often preferring to punch the ball away, which led to a series of errors and less consistent performances in his later career, as he lost some of his speed and mobility with age. Although he has occasionally criticised by pundits for his limited skills with the ball at his feet in comparison to other Spanish goalkeepers, Casillas’s distribution with both his hands and feet has generally been reliable throughout his career, and he is capable of sending the ball into deep areas of the pitch with his long kicks and throws.
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In January 2012, Casillas agreed a sponsorship deal with Adidas to wear their Response goalkeeping gloves and Predator football boots. The move to Adidas ended a long running association for Casillas with Reebok, which started in 2004. In February 2005, Casillas was the football face of Reebok’s “I Am What I Am” global integrated advertising campaign that linked all the brand’s marketing efforts under one umbrella. Adidas has been the parent company of Reebok since 2005.
Match Worn Boots
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On 1 July 2012, Casillas became the first player to reach 100 international wins for his country. He also set another record with his 509 minutes without conceding a goal in that year’s European Championship, keeping five consecutive clean sheets and breaking the longstanding tally of 494 minutes set by Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff. The only goal he conceded, scored by Antonio Di Natale, came in Spain’s opening match of the tournament, against eventual runners-up Italy. Casillas then continued his new record for minutes unbeaten with Spain to 817 minutes, which was broken by France’s Olivier Giroud in the last seconds of Spain’s game against France.
Match Worn & Signed Gloves
“Honestly, I don’t have to use up many words to say how good he is, the results are there for all to see. He has won everything there is to win and has been on the same great level for so many years now, which is possibly hardest of all for a goalkeeper. Spain almost never concede goals and Casillas is the main reason for that” Gianluigi Buffon
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Since 2009, Casillas has been in a relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero. At the beginning of the South Africa 2010 tournament – after Spain’s shock defeat by Switzerland – the Spanish captain Iker Casillas was berated by his TV reporter girlfriend Sara Carbonero. But six games later, after lifting the trophy and being asked about the triumph, all was forgiven as the goalkeeper kissed and made up on live TV. The passionate embrace came after the World Cup winner broke down in tears and Miss Carbonero, 25, offered him time to compose himself. Taking her by surprise, he grabbed the glamorous sports presenter – voted the sexiest in the world – as he said: “No, this is what I want to do.”