Iker Casillas

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Iker Casillas handed liaison role at Porto during recovery

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Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been handed a sort of hybrid coaching role as he continues to recover from the heart attack that hospitalized him for five days in May.

The club announced the change on Monday as Casillas told fans via an interview with Portuguese TV channel Porto Canal that he would serve as a liaison between the squad and managerial staff as he looks to figure out his next step.

“I’m going to do something different from what I’ve done before, which was being on the pitch,” Casillas said. “I will try to make a connection between the team and the club. The boss [Sergio Conceicao] told me that he wanted me to stay with them, close to the players, close to the youngsters because there would be lots of changes. I will try my best to help my teammates.”

The 38-year-old has been with Porto since moving from his boyhood club Real Madrid in 2015, and has served as the main starter in each of his four seasons there, save for a midseason spell on the bench in the 2017/18 campaign in which he earned the role back by mid-February. He has put together 156 appearances across all competitions for Porto during his time with the club.

Casillas has said he does not yet wish to retire, still hoping to add to his 881 first-team professional club appearances. Casillas accumulated 725 of those with Real Madrid, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga championships. He also captained the Spanish national team to back-to-back European championships and the 2010 World Cup title.

Casillas released from hospital after heart attack

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Iker Casillas has been released from hospital after he suffered a heart attack last Wednesday.

The FC Porto goalkeeper, 37, spoke to reporters outside of the CUF hospital in Porto, Portugal on Monday, as he thanked the medical teams at the hospital and FC Porto for their work as the team medics responded immediately to his issue in training last week.

Casillas also thanked the entire soccer world for their well wishes, as messages poured in from across the globe for the legendary goalkeeper.

“A few days ago I went through a difficult situation, something that can happen at any moment of life, but fortunately I’m fine. I am grateful and feel that I am very lucky. Thank you to all who cared, for I felt very dear and cherished. I can only get out of this situation with a smile.”

Casillas won five La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles during his 17-year career with Real Madrid, and has spent the past four seasons at FC Porto. He also captained Spain to the 2010 World Cup and back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

What does the future hold for Casillas?

“I feel much better and now it will be a rest for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, I do not know, but the most important thing is to be here. Thank you all,” Casillas said. “I do not know what the future will be, but the most important thing is to be here, to be able to speak and transmit to everyone as I am and how I feel. Thank you very much and see you soon.”

Real Madrid sends ‘Stay strong’ message to Casillas

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Real Madrid’s players and fans took a moment before Sunday’s 3-2 Spanish league win over Villarreal to send messages of support to former star goalkeeper Iker Casillas as he recovers from a heart attack.

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Players posed for a team photo wearing T-shirts that said in Spanish “Iker, we are all with you,” while spectators at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium chanted his name and unfurled a huge banner saying “Madrid fans are with you. Stay strong, eternal captain.”

The 37-year-old Casillas fell ill while training for his club, FC Porto, on Wednesday and remains hospitalized after undergoing a catheterization. Porto’s doctors said the former Spain goalkeeper is expected to fully recover, but it is too early to know if he can keep playing professionally.

Casillas was a fan favorite during his 16 seasons with Madrid, where he won three Champions League and five Spanish league trophies. Casillas also helped Spain to win the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships. He joined Portuguese club Porto in 2015.

Against Villarreal, Madrid bounced back from a 0-0 draw at Getafe and a 1-0 loss at relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano as it struggles to compete consistently despite the return of coach Zinedine Zidane.

Barcelona clinched the league title last week and, with Madrid in a distant third place, all the talk in the Spanish capital is what the club will do in the offseason to shake up its squad.

Little used striker Mariano Diaz and defender Jesus Vallejo responded to their rare starts Sunday by scoring. Diaz struck twice, while Vallejo got his first goal for the club. Gerard Moreno and Juame Costa scored for Villarreal.

Madrid’s Vinicius Junior returned as a late substitute after two months sidelined with a leg injury.

GETAFE FOUTH

Getafe is trying to join Madrid, second-place Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League next season.

The modest club moved back ahead of Sevilla into fourth place and the final spot for Europe’s top club competition after beating Girona 2-0 at home.

Jorge Molina continued his excellent season at age 37 by scoring his 14th league goal before Angel Rodriguez put the result beyond doubt.

Also, Eibar edged Real Betis 1-0.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Iker Casillas suffers heart attack

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Iker Casillas has been rushed to hospital in Portugal after suffering a heart attack during training.

Casillas, 37, is said to be in a stable condition after the incident which happened at FC Porto’s training ground.

FC Porto have confirmed that Casillas suffered the heart attack and was taken to hospital nearby.

“Iker Casillas suffered an acute myocardial infarction during Wednesday morning training session held at the PortoGaia Training and Training Center in Olival. The session was promptly interrupted to provide assistance to the FC Porto goalkeeper, who is currently at the Hospital CUF Porto. Casillas is well, stable and his heart problem solved.”

The legendary goalkeeper, who captained Spain to their 2010 World Cup and European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012, has spent the last four seasons at Porto after moving on from his incredible 16-year professional career with Real Madrid where he won three Champions League title and five La Liga trophies.

Porto are two points behind Benfica with three games to go in the league, while they also face Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese cup final on May 25. Casillas and his teammates were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool at the quarterfinal stage.

Porto sent out the following message on their Twitter page after the news broke about Casillas.

Kaka reveals MLS talks with Iker Casillas

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The old boys network is in full flow.

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That’s because Kaka wants his former Real Madrid teammate Iker Casillas to join him in Major League Soccer.

The Orlando City captain and Brazilian national team playmaker has spoken to a Spanish media outlet about the possiblity of Casillas, 34, leaving FC Porto and arriving in North America.

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Kaka, 33, revealed he has been trying to entice Casillas to move to MLS but thinks it may be a few years before we see the Real and Spanish national team legend arrive in North America’s top-flight.

“I would like Casillas to come [to MLS] next year, but he told me he wants to stay in Portugal and play a little bit,” Kaka said.“He’s still a great name in world football and I think he likes the idea of coming to play here.” 

Casillas won three UEFA Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns with his hometown club Real, plus won two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain.

He’s class is undoubted but in recent years his form for Spain and Real deteriorated which saw him lose his starting spot for both and after coming through the ranks at Real and spending 16 years there as a pro, he left to join FC Porto in the summer of 2015 on a two-year deal.

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Casillas has long been linked with a move to MLS and in the past he has mentioned he would like to play in North America.

Let’s see if he follows in the footsteps of former Real teammate Kaka and ends up in Orlando or somewhere else in MLS, or goes down the route taken by another Real legend, Raul, who joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.

Kaka is quite the matchmaker these days, huh? Only last week he helped convince former Brazil teammate Julio Baptista (known colloquially as “The Beast”) to join him Orlando.

Will Casillas be the next big name to arrive in central Florida thanks to Kaka?