Iker Casillas Fernandez is a Spain international goalkeeper who has played for the Spanish and European giants Real Madrid all his life. He is arguably the best custodian in the world and also captains the Spanish national team. He is known as the ‘Ikerman’ and ‘Saint Iker’.
Casillas is a product of the highly rated Real Madrid youth academy and started playing for the junior side in the 1990-91 season. Casillas stepped up to the senior level in the 1998-1999 season but from the very next season onwards Iker Casillas was firmly cemented into the Madrid starting lineup.
Casillas played for Madrid in their 3-0 defeat of Valencia in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final, thereby becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final at just 19 years of age.
However, he lost his place to Cesar Sanchez in the 2001-02 season but exhibited his class and quality in the final of the UEFA Champions League that year against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park when he came onto the pitch in the last minutes and made a string of exceptional saves.
Casillas then went on to win La Liga in 2003, a feat that he had achieved in 2001. He has since maintained his place and has now grown to be the fulcrum of the Madrid side. Football commentators say that Casillas alone is worth 20-25 goals a season since he makes strings of saves in every match that he plays for Real Madrid. He won the league with Madrid in 2007 and 2008 again, and then in 2011-12.
Iker Casillas has been a Spanish national since his teenage years. He was the third choice custodian for Spain at Euro 2000 but was he first choice at the 2002 World Cup as well at Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup. Casillas won Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 with la Furia Roja, as well as the European Championship in 2012. Casillas has featured in 140 international matches for Spain so far in his career.
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