Iker Casillas Fernández, or Iker Casillas as he is commonly called, is a Spanish footballer who plays for La Liga team Real Madrid. Iker Casillas is one of the few players in the world who has remained with only one club since the start of their careers. Casillas is also the captain of both the club side and the international side. He began his career by playing for the youth team of Real Madrid in the 1990-91 season. His progress through the various stages of its development at Real Madrid was extremely rapid.
He soon made his first team debut aged just 16, which was something remarkable for a goalkeeper, in the 1997 season. Unlike many others, who make their debut in the League followed by the Champions League, Iker Casillas made his debut in the Champions League. The injury situation at Real Madrid was responsible for this unusual situation. Even though the 1998-99 season was not spectacular, he was soon promoted to the role of the first choice goalkeeper in the 2000-2001 season.
Even though there were initial struggles after being promoted to the number one position, Casillas coped with them admirably. He played a major part in helping Real Madrid win the Champions League in 2002 when they defeated Bayern Leverkusen in the final. Casillas was also a major force in Real Madrid lifting the La Liga title, which came after a long gap, in the 2007-2008 season. Incidentally, it was also Real Madrid’s 31st title, which made the club the record holder when it comes to most number of titles won in the Spanish League.
So far, he has represented Real Madrid in an astonishing 572 appearances. These appearances have come about for various Real Madrid teams, B and C. For the first team of Real Madrid, Casillas has been involved in 420 matches so far. So far, Casillas has won four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey title, three Supercopa de España titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Super Cup title, and one Intercontinental Cup. He has also played in various international competitions with the Spanish national team, for which he is also the current captain.
Internationally, Casillas has won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999, UEFA European Championship in 2008, and the FIFA World Cup in 2010. In total, he has represented the Spanish national team in 121 appearances, which puts him in the top rankings of the all-time international appearances for various teams all over the world. He played a major role in Spain winning their first ever World Cup, while the European Championships also rank highly in the order of performances for the Spaniard.
Personally, Iker Casillas has been nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2009 and in 2010. He was also part of the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2008. He has been awarded the FIFA/FIFPro World’s best goalkeeper award in 2008, 2009, and 2010, while he also starred in the FIFA World XI teams in 2008, 2009, and 2010.