MADRID: Real Madrid’s emblematic captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas is set to leave the club for FC Porto after 25 years during which he won everything in the game with the Spanish giants.
“Real Madrid and FC Porto have agreed the transfer of Iker Casillas to the Portuguese club,” said Real in a statement on Saturday after three days of intense negotiations.
At 34, Casillas leaves a club with which he grew up, joining Real’s youth academy aged nine in 1990 and winning 19 trophies during his 16 seasons as a professional.
“One of the best goalkeepers in this club is not just leaving, today the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the club and in the history of Spanish football is moving on to a new stage in his footballing career,” said the statement.
Casillas had two years left on his contract, but the highly-anticipated transfer is seen as an historic turning point for the club who are reported to be trying to recruit Manchester United’s 24-year-old Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea in a bid to rejuvenate after finishing second in La Liga last season behind Barcelona, who also won the Champions League title.
“Casillas is leaving, but his legacy is here forever. His attitude and actions in the 725 games he played in our jersey shine a light on the path for those who dream of being part of this team,” further added the statement. “For Real Madrid today is a day, above all, of thanks and recognition. This goodbye evokes thousands of sensations and memories charged with hope, anticipation, sacrifice, strength and unique triumph.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.
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