Famous Football Player: Iker Casillas (Spain)
At just 29 years of age, Iker Casillas has already accumulated what some might consider a career’s worth of accomplishments as a professional goalkeeper. Casillas, who is the Captain of the Spanish National Team, also plays professionally for the La Liga club, Real Madrid. For both teams, he is the first-team goalkeeper. He is vice captain for the Real Madrid squad, and he served as the Captain of his national team in 2008 when they took their first European Championship in 44 years.
Recognized internationally as one of the best goalkeepers in the game today, Casillas has managed to earn more than a few awards and honors. Among them he includes such accomplishments as:
• 2008 European Footballer of the Year
• Name to the UEFA Team of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009
• FIFA/FIFPRO World’s Best Goalkeeper 2008/2009
• The Zamora Trophy 2007/2008
• ESM Team of the Year 2007/2008
• Best Goalkeeper (IFFHS) 2008 and 2009
• Best Goalkeeper (LFP) 2008/2009
• Royal Order Gold Medal (Sports Merit) 2009/2010
Casillas also holds the Spanish National record for clean sheets, surpassing long-time record holder Zubizaretta in 2009. Having made over 100 appearances with the Spanish national squad he his one of the all-time leaders for the team, and is reckoned as something of a national hero for his many accomplishments.
La Liga team, Real Madrid, nurtured Casillas through their youth program and helped shape the quality player he is today. During their 2008/2009 Season, Casillas only allowed 32 goals in 36 games. In 2009, he became Real Madrid’s most “capped” goalkeeper. With his record of steadily improving play and a knack for avoiding injury, it looks as if both Real Madrid and Team Spain will be getting a lot more saves from Casillas in the years to come.