Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas has admitted that his time as a professional footballer is slowly coming to a close.
Casillas earned his 166th cap for the national side during the friendly against Romania on Sunday, equalling the European record set by retired Latvian midfielder Vitalijs Astafjevs.
Sky Sports quoted the former Real Madrid stopper speaking to his fans on Periscope: “I am happy to reach 166 games and be the player with the most games for the national team. In these years I have lived good times and bad times, but I will stick with the good ones.”
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He also acknowledged the fact that his time in Spain colours is running out soon.
“The time of my retirement is getting closer and closer. It’s clear that time passes everyone and I am no exception of that.”
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“But I hope and I would like to be with this team full of youngsters. I don’t know if it’s my last year with Spain, I only think about enjoying each day.”
He is into his 16th year representing La Rojas, after making his debut against Sweden in June 2000, just 14 days after his 19th birthday.
PLAYERS IN QUEUE
The Porto star is aware that despite the faith shown by head coach Vicente del Bosque who has fielded the keeper in seven out of the last ten games, David de Gea and Sergio Rico are in contention for the starting place in Euro 2016.
“[Vicente] Del Bosque will call up the 23 players that he thinks are the best. [Rico] is a great keeper who has worked hard and will get his chance with the national team.”
Casillas has won almost everything there is to win including the World Cup 2010, back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012, five La Liga titles and the Champions League on three occasions with Los Blancos.
The 34-year-old left Santiago Bernabeu last summer after serving the Galacticos for 16 years to join Portuguese giants Porto, but his time at Estadio do Dragao has not gone smoothly after faltering performances in the Primeira Liga as well as Europe.
Although he is now well in the twilight of his career and his current disjointed performances, Casillas can still be regarded as one of the best goalkeepers the footballing world has ever witnessed.