'Even Barcelona fans like him' - Iker Casillas set for return to Real Madrid in new role following retirement, talkSPORT told

talksport.com, 4 August 2020, 11:42
Iker Casillas has been hailed as the undisputed best goalkeeper in Spain's history after the Real Madrid legend announced his retirement from football.

And talkSPORT has been told the 39-year-old is now set to make a return to the Bernabeu in a new administrative role, five years after leaving the capital club.

Real Madrid and Porto paid tribute to Casillas on Tuesday after the Spanish football legend hung up his boots.

The goalkeeper one of the very few players to be universally loved across his nation, with Real fans and supporters of El Clasico rivals Barcelona alike dubbing him 'San Iker' thanks to his heroics in Spain's six-year domination of international football.

But the World Cup and two-time European Championship winner is most loved by the Bernabeu faithful, having racked up 725 appearances for the Spanish giants over 16 seasons, lifting five LaLiga titles and the Champions League three times.

He may have left his beloved boyhood club under a cloud in 2015 following a bitter and public falling out with manager Jose Mourinho, but his relationship with Real has since healed.

And now, after departing Porto after five years in Portugal, Casillas is set to make a move back to Madrid in a new role.

Phil Kitromilides from the Spanish Football Podcast and host of Real Madrid TV joined White and Sawyer on Tuesday to look back on the legend's remarkable career.

And he said: "Certainly in terms of the great Spanish goalkeepers, Casillas is number one without a shadow of a doubt for everything he achieved, not least the World Cup win and is very famous for his saves in the final.

"Spanish people refer to him as a Saint - San Iker - he's very fondly thought of, and even Barcelona fans quite like him, for doing what he did with the Spanish national team, which gives you an idea of how much he was liked.

"He then did something not many Real Madrid legends do, he left the club under a little bit of a cloud and he went to Porto, where he did really well and is actually a legend at Porto as well, the fans absolutely live him after his couple of season there.

"So he's had a fantastic career and a future career in administration follows, potentially.

"It was suggested he was going to run for the president of the Spanish federation this summer, but that hasn't materialised yet.

"I think he's going to be a big figure if Spanish football in the future, just not on the pitch now.

"He was a little bit of a divisive future toward the end of his time at Real Madrid, when he fell out with Jose Mourinho, but he seems to have patched things up with the club because suggestions are that he's going to come back to Real Madrid in some kind of capacity - whether it's coaching, sporting director, administratively, those are the suggestions at the moment."

Iker Casillas has been hailed as the undisputed best goalkeeper in Spain's history after the Real Madrid legend announced his retirement from football.

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