Victor Valdes' letter to Iker Casillas asking him to retire following sudden heart attack


Iker Casillas is one of the most decorated goalkeepers to have ever graced the game of football.

The Spaniard spent a trophy-laden 16 years at Real Madrid, notching up an incredible five La Liga's, two Copa Del Rey trophies and three Champions League's.

Casillas also managed 167 caps for his country, winning the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 as well as the 2010 World Cup in the process.

The former Galactico moved to Porto in 2015, and has been a regular fixture for the Portuguese side, winning the Primeira Liga in 2017/18.

The former Spanish number one also led Porto to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this campaign, and are still in with a chance of retaining their league title despite being two points of the pace to Benfica.

Despite the Spaniard having something like a career renaissance with Porto, this came to an abrupt halt when the 37-year-old started getting chest pains during a training session on the 1st of May.

After being taken to hospital, doctors revealed that Casillas had in fact suffered a heart attack.

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Words of support came flooding in from a combination of fans and players -former and current - with one in particular constructing a heartfelt message that warmed what can be quite a cold and unforgiving place, the world of social media.

Former Barcelona, Manchester United and Middlesbrough 'keeper Victor Valdes, who has experienced playing with (Spain) and against (Barca) Casillas, had this to say:

"Dear Iker, dear friend.

"In the world of soccer, some choose to be a goalkeeper while others have to learn with all of their defects and virtues.

"You are and always will be one of those who was born with a glove on either hand. The idol that has these innate qualities that the rest of us have to reach for. An idol that the other less capable focus on, dreaming that one day they can lift, like you, the trophy that recognises you as the best, our world champion with the number one on his back.

"You are, and forever will be the motivational force that those between the posts dream to be, someone able to [fly] higher and for longer than all of us together at once. Turning the unthinkable into reality. Executing every action close to our reach, with this magnificent save. Saves that only you can do on chosen ground for the chosen few or those touched with the 'magic wand.'

"My friend, it is inevitable to get emotional writing these lines remembering what I lived, admiring with a certain nostalgia those great battles with you in front of me that made me value everything much more, and without you knowing it and for what you gave me in each training session. A whole country acclaimed you.

"As goalkeepers, we accept without fear and with the values through which we identify ourselves, the danger that life decides to bring close to our areas and on this occasion it's more than one simple save. Your heart, that continues beating for the sake of those who dream of reaching what you once were, as a friend and as a rival in times gone by, I encourage you to be that white lion once again but this time on the sideline.

"It is your legacy that defines you, and this is already history.

"Always in my thoughts, from keeper to keeper.

"The double.


One word. Class.

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