Iker Casillas

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Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas Euro 2012 vs France.jpg
Casillas before a game with Spain at Euro 2012
Personal information
Full name Iker Casillas Fernández[1]
Date of birth (1981-05-20) 20 May 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Móstoles, Spain
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 1
Youth career
1990–1998 Real Madrid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Real Madrid C 26 (0)
1999 Real Madrid B 4 (0)
1999– Real Madrid 503 (0)
National team
1996 Spain U15 1 (0)
1996–1998 Spain U16 19 (0)
1997–1999 Spain U17 10 (0)
1999 Spain U18 4 (0)
1999 Spain U20 2 (0)
1999–2000 Spain U21 5 (0)
2000– Spain 161 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:45, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Casillas and the second or maternal family name is Fernández.

Iker Casillas Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈiker kaˈsiʎas ferˈnandeθ]; born 20 May 1981) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for and captains both Real Madrid and the Spain national team as a goalkeeper. In 2008 he was the captain of the Spanish team that won their first European Championship in 44 years, the Spanish team that went on to win Spain's first World Cup (a tournament in which he won the Golden Glove also known as the Yashin Award) and the 2012 European Championship.

Having won the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Award for five consecutive years,[3] he is considered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.[4][5][6][7] Casillas was nominated for the European Footballer of the Year award in 2008, ranking fourth overall.[8] At the end of 2012 he was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for the sixth consecutive time. 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, Casillas became the goalkeeper with most appearances of all time in the UEFA Champions League and in November 2011, he became the most capped player of all time for the Spanish national team.[9] With over 150 caps for his 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.[10]

Early life[edit]

Casillas was born on 20 May 1981 in Móstoles, Community of Madrid to José Luis Casillas, a civil servant in the Ministry of Education, and María del Carmen Fernández González, a hairdresser.[11] Both his parents had moved from their home of Navalacruz, Ávila.[11] When Iker was a child, he lived for some years in the Basque Country, but he has always considered Madrid to be his hometown.[citation needed] Casillas has a brother, seven years younger, named Unai, who used to play as a central midfielder for CD Móstoles.[12]

One weekend as a young child, Casillas forgot to post his father's football predictions on the weekend his father had correctly predicted all 14 results. The family lost out on an estimated €1.2m (£1m).[13]

Real Madrid[edit]

Early years[edit]

Casillas started his career in Real Madrid's youth system, known as La Fábrica, during the 1990–91 season. On 27 November 1997 at age 16 he was first called up to the first team to face Rosenborg in Champions League. In 2000, he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final when Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3–0, just four days after his nineteenth birthday.[14]

2001–10 seasons[edit]

Casillas lost his place in the side to backup César Sánchez after poor performances in the 2001–02 campaign, but redeemed himself when César suffered an injury in the final minutes of the 2002 Champions League final. Casillas came on and pulled off several key saves to deny a rampant Bayer Leverkusen the Champions League crown. Real Madrid won 2–1.

Casillas' gloves on display at the Santiago Bernabeu museum

The 2007–08 season was a fruitful season for Casillas as he helped Real Madrid reclaim their 31st La Liga title and conceded only 32 goals in 36 matches to claim the Zamora Trophy. On 14 February 2008, he and the club captain Raúl González were awarded contracts for life. Casillas signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2017, with an automatic extension if he plays 30 competitive matches during the final season of the contract and a buy-out clause of £113 million.[15] His performances earned him a spot in the UEFA Team of the Year for the second time.

In February 2009, Casillas equalled Paco Buyo's record of 454 matches played for a goalkeeper and has since surpassed it to become Real Madrid's most-capped goalkeeper of all time at only twenty-seven years old.[16] During the 2009 summer transfer window, some Spanish media reported that Manchester City had launched a record £129 million bid for the goalkeeper. However, the club denied the rumours, saying that no such offer had been made. Manchester United had been rumoured to have enquired about him, but no price was announced.[17] He had been linked with other Premier League clubs before[18] but Casillas himself stated that he "had no intention of leaving" his boyhood club.

During the 2009–10 season on 4 October in a game against Sevilla, Casillas made an extraordinary save; he ran from one side of his goal to the other and denied Diego Perotti in a one-on-one close range encounter.[19] After the match, he received praise from fellow Spanish goalkeepers and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who stated "Casillas' reflexes are incredible. If he continues to play this well he will become one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the game." Europa Press reported that Casillas was the second most popular Spanish sportsman on the internet throughout 2010. The study performed by company Vipnet360 examined the web presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.[20]


During the 2010–11 season, after the departure of first and second captains of Real Madrid, Raul and Guti, Casillas was selected as first Captain with new Vice Captains Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Gonzalo Higuaín.

During the 2011–12 season, Casillas won the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper award, making him only the second goalkeeper to win it behind Gianluigi Buffon four times and the only goalkeeper to win the award four times in a row. Casillas played his 600th match for Real Madrid on 22 January 2012 in a 4–1 win against Athletic Bilbao. On 2 May 2012, Casillas clinched his fifth La Liga title and his first as a captain of Real Madrid, with a 3–0 win in Bilbao.

On 22 December 2012, Casillas was dropped by José Mourinho for a La Liga match against Málaga in favor of Antonio Adán.[21] This was the beginning of a series of sour disagreements between the Portuguese coach and the player, some of which, along with other internal affairs, were allegedly aired to the press by Casillas himself. This generated a shift in the opinion of certain sectors of Real Madrid's fans, who gave Casillas the nickname "topor" (a portmanteau of "topo", and "portero", Spanish for "mole" and "goalkeeper", respectively).[22] During the 2012–13 season, Casillas won the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper Award for the fifth consecutive time, making him the only goalkeeper in history to have ever won that award five times (in a row).

In January 2013, after a serious injury to Casillas, Mourinho signed Diego Lopéz from Sevilla. López was named first choice keeper ahead of Antonio Adán and kept his place in the team even after Casillas had returned from injury. After the 2012–13 season, Mourinho left Madrid and soon after his departure, Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta criticized him for benching Casillas.

In the middle of 2013, it was announced that Carlo Ancelotti would be Real Madrid's head coach for the 2013–14 season. Real Madrid started the season with a 2–1 victory over Real Betis, in which Casillas was benched once again. Casillas made his first start in 238 days in the Champions League group match against Galatasaray, but was injured in the 14th minute after Sergio Ramos caught him with an accidental elbow as the goalkeeper came from his line to make a routine catch.[23] Casillas continued to be Real's first choice keeper in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, setting a new record of 962 minutes without conceding a goal.[24] In February 2014, he became the first goalkeeper to play in every round of the Copa del Rey prior to the final without conceding a goal.[25] On 16 April, he captained Real in the final as they beat rivals Barcelona 2–1 at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium.

On 24 May 2014, Casillas captained Real Madrid in the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, winning the title for the third time in his career with a 4–1 defeat of Atlético Madrid in Lisbon.[26] Following Champions League win, he then went on to win UEFA Super Cup in August 2014. He then also won the Fifa Club World Cup in December 2014.

International career[edit]

Casillas lifting the Euro 2012 trophy, the third consecutive major title for Spain, achieving a historic treble.

Casillas debuted for the national team in the U–17 level. At age 16, he was the youngest player in the Spanish squad that placed third at the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Egypt. He was later made captain of the U-17's. Two years later, he went on to win the FIFA World Youth Championship and the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup that same year. Initially second-choice, he soon worked his way up to first-choice and eventually earned his first senior cap following some brilliant performances at club level.

Casillas is currently the most capped player in the history of the Spanish national team. Following his full international debut at the senior level on 3 June 2000 against Sweden (at 19 years and 14 days), Casillas was an unused substitute at UEFA Euro 2000. He was part of the roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, initially as the understudy to Santiago Cañizares. Coincidentally, Casillas became the first-choice goalkeeper when Cañizares had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury from a freak accident. At 21, he was one of the youngest first-choice goalkeepers in the tournament. He played an instrumental role in Spanish progression when he saved two penalties in the shoot-out during the round of 16 match against the Republic of Ireland, earning him the nickname "The Saint". One of his saves during the quarter-final versus South Korea during the 2002 FIFA World Cup was rated by FIFA as one of the top 10 saves of all time.[27]

Euro 2004 and 2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Casillas played in all eight Group six fixtures during UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying, conceding just four goals. He kept a clean sheet in the second leg victory of the playoff against Norway which ended 3–0 in Oslo, and started all of Spain's Euro 2004 matches. He was the first choice for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, captaining the team twice, but could not prevent La Roja from losing 3–1 to a Zidane-inspired France in the Round of 16.

Euro 2008[edit]

With the exclusion of his Real Madrid teammate Raúl from the squad for UEFA Euro 2008, Casillas was given the captain's armband. He started the first two Group D games against Russia and Sweden before being rested in place of second-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina for Spain's group stage elimination of Greece. Casillas saved two penalties from Antonio Di Natale and Daniele De Rossi as Spain eliminated Italy in the quarterfinals with a 4–2 shootout win following a goalless draw on 22 June.[28] Spain later went on to win the competition with a 1–0 win over Germany in the final on 29 June; Casillas kept clean sheets for the quarter-final, semi-final, and final matches, with Sweden's first round goal by Zlatan Ibrahimović being the last one scored against him. On 29 June 2008, Casillas became the first goalkeeper-captain to lift the UEFA European Championship trophy when Spain beat Germany 1–0 in the final.[29]

In October 2008, Casillas and deputy in goal Pepe Reina broke the national record for the longest time spent without conceding a goal. The pair went unbeaten for 710 minutes, longer than Spain's longest-serving goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta and Paco Buyo. Wesley Sonck of Belgium ended their goalless streak when he scored against them a 2010 World Cup qualifying match.

Casillas was the highest ranked goalkeeper (fourth place) in the 2008 Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and national teammate Fernando Torres. Also in 2008, Casillas was named the world's best goalkeeper by the IFFHS.[30] He also came in third place in the best goalkeepers of all time ranking; beating Oliver Kahn.[30]

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

On 5 September 2009, after a 5–0 win over Belgium in a qualifying match for the World Cup, Casillas equalled Andoni Zubizarreta's national record of 56 clean sheets, and during the Spanish team's next match against Estonia on 9 September 2009, he surpassed Zubizarreta as the record holder for the most Spanish international clean sheets (this being achieved in Casillas' 98th appearance for the national team, while Zubizarreta made 126 before his retirement). Two months later, Casillas made his 100th appearance for the Spanish squad in the friendly win over Argentina, making him only the third player in history of Spanish football to ever reach this far internationally.[31]

Iker Casillas with Xavi, after winning the Euro 2012 Final.

On 11 July 2010, he captained Spain to their first ever World Cup title with a 1–0 win against the Netherlands.[32] In doing so he became the third ever goalkeeper to captain a World Cup winning side (along with Gianpiero Combi in 1934 and Dino Zoff in 1982). He was voted the tournament's best goalkeeper and awarded the Golden Glove. In the course of the finals in South Africa he kept five clean sheets, conceded two goals, and saved a penalty in the quarter-final against Paraguay. In the final, he made two crucial stops from Netherlands' Arjen Robben with the score at 0–0 after the Dutchman had passed all the defenders.

On 15 November 2011, Casillas became Spain's most capped player, breaking Andoni Zubizarreta's record after starting for Spain in their 2–2 draw against Costa Rica.

On 29 February 2012, in Spain's 5–0 win over Venezuela, Casillas equalled Edwin van der Sar's record of 72 international clean sheets. On 30 May, in Spain's 4–1 win over South Korea, Casillas came on for Pepe Reina on the 82nd minute mark. This set the record for most international victories with 95 giving Casillas yet another record to his name. On 6 June, In Spain's 1–0 win over China, Casillas set the record for most international clean sheets with 74 clean sheets.

Euro 2012[edit]

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, breaking the longstanding tally of 494 minutes set by Italian keeper Dino Zoff. 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.

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

In June 2014, Casillas was selected to represent Spain in his fourth FIFA World Cup.[33] In the team's opening match, he made two mistakes leading to goals from Stefan de Vrij and Robin van Persie as the champions were defeated 5–1 by the Netherlands.[34] After the match, Casillas apologised for the defeat and called his performance the worst of his career.[35] He also started in Spain's second group game against Chile which they lost 2–0 and were subsequently eliminated from the world cup. He was left on the bench for Spain's final game against Australia.


In January 2012, Casillas agreed a sponsorship deal with Adidas to wear their Response goalkeeping gloves and Predator football boots.[36] 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.[37] Adidas has been the parent company of Reebok since 2005.

Career statistics[edit]


As of 22 March 2015[38][39]
Club Season League National Cup Continental Other1 Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Real Madrid 1999–2000 La Liga 27 0 5 0 12 0 3 0 47 0
2000–01 34 0 0 0 11 0 2 0 47 0
2001–02 25 0 5 0 9 0 1 0 40 0
2002–03 38 0 0 0 15 0 2 0 55 0
2003–04 37 0 2 0 9 0 2 0 50 0
2004–05 37 0 0 0 10 0 47 0
2005–06 37 0 4 0 7 0 48 0
2006–07 38 0 0 0 7 0 45 0
2007–08 36 0 0 0 8 0 2 0 46 0
2008–09 38 0 0 0 7 0 2 0 47 0
2009–10 38 0 0 0 8 0 46 0
2010–11 35 0 8 0 11 0 54 0
2011–12 37 0 4 0 10 0 2 0 53 0
2012–13 19 0 3 0 5 0 2 0 29 0
2013–14 2 0 9 0 13 0 24 0
2014–15 25 0 0 0 6 0 5 0 36 0
Career total 503 0 40 0 148 0 23 0 714 0

1 Includes Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.



Real Madrid[40]





Outside football[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2009, Casillas has been in a relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero.[44] Their son Martín was born in January 2014 and baptized the same year.[45][46]


In 2011, Casillas was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme's Millennium Development Goals.[47][48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 4 June 2010. p. 29. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Player Profile: Iker Casillas". Official Real Madrid website. 
  3. ^ "Iker Casillas named World's Best Goalkeeper by IFFHS". Terra Sport. 4 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "25 Greatest Goalkeepers in Football History". bleacherreport.com. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Top five: Greatest goalkeepers of all-time". givemesport.com. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Football: The 20 greatest goalkeepers of all time". sportskeeda.com. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "The best football goalkeepers ever". bestfootballplayersever.com. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  8. ^ lvi1529@SZ71-60674. "Results men for FIFA.com by Player.xls" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Bryan, Paul (18 October 2010). "Winning feeling all that counts for Casillas". UEFA.com. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Champions Real Madrid recover to win 10th European title – 'La Decima'". emirates247.com. 24 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Iker Casillas, portero del Real Madrid" [Iker Casillas, Real Madrid's goalkeeper]. El Mundo. 
  12. ^ "get know... Unai Casillas". Una Madridista. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Iker Casillas". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Iker Casillas Ferández Profile, Statis, News, Game Log". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Casillas and Raul commit to Real". Sky Sports. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Casillas secures place in Madrid folklore". UEFA.com. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  17. ^ Robson, James (3 December 2008). "City deny Casillas bid". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  18. ^ Wilson, Steve (15 November 2007). "Iker Casillas in the dark over Tottenham link". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Real Madrid Vs Sevilla Iker Casillas Huge Save Unbelievable!! HD". YouTube. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Iniesta, Torres, Nadal y Alonso, deportistas españoles más importantes en Internet". Europa Press (in Spanish). 27 December 2010. 
  21. ^ "Liga – Mourinho drops Casillas as Malaga beat Real Madrid". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. 22 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "¿Madridismo unido? Los mourinhistas no perdonan a Florentino ni, sobre todo, a Casillas". Voz pópuli. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  23. ^ Iker Casillas suffers injury blow
  24. ^ "Casillas to miss the derby". Marca. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Casillas makes history". Kickoff. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Madrid finally fulfil Décima dream". UEFA. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  27. ^ FIFA Fever Centennial Anniversary (1904–2004) DVD
  28. ^ McNulty, Phil (22 June 2008). "Spain 0–0 Italy (4–2 pens)". BBC News. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  29. ^ "Germany 0–1 Spain: Torres ends Spain's pain". Soccernet. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Ingo Faulhaber. "IFFHS". Iffhs.de. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  31. ^ "Alonso bags brace as Spain underline World Cup credentials". ESPN Soccernet. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  32. ^ "Iniesta sinks Dutch with late strike". ESPNsoccernet (ESPN). 11 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  33. ^ "Casillas: "Winning a second World Cup is in our hands"". Marca. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Superb Dutch destroy sorry Spain 5–1". Reuters. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Spain's Iker Casillas apologises for 'worst performance of my career'". The Guardian. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  36. ^ "Adidas sign Iker Casillas from Reebok". FootballBoots.co.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  37. ^ "Reebok Marketing". corporate.reebok.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  38. ^ "BDFutbol profile". BDFutbol. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Soccerway profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  40. ^ a b Honours
  41. ^ "El CSD concede a Casillas la Medalla de Oro de la Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo" (in Spanish). As.com. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  42. ^ "Casillas se emociona tras ser nombrado Hijo Predilecto de Navalacruz" (in Spanish). marca.com. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  43. ^ "Iker Casillas será nombrado Hijo Predilecto de Móstoles el próximo 16 de septiembre" (in Spanish). As.com. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  44. ^ "Iker Casillas in spotlight over girlfriend role". BBC News. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  45. ^ "That's my boy! Iker Casillas' son is born". Marca. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  46. ^ "Íker Casillas bautiza al pequeño Martín de viajar a Brasil". Yahoo. 22 December 2014. 
  47. ^ Iker Casillas appointed new UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Content.undp.org (24 January 2011). Retrieved on 17 March 2012.
  48. ^ Spain’s goalkeeper Casillas to score poverty reduction goals as UN Goodwill Ambassador. Un.org (24 January 2011). Retrieved on 17 March 2012.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Spain captain
Preceded by
Real Madrid captain