June 25, 2021

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FIFA World Cup 2022 – News – Casillas: For two years I’ve celebrated the day I was born again

10 min read
FIFA World Cup 2022™ - News - Casillas: For two years I’ve celebrated the day I was born again
  • In May 2019 Casillas suffered a coronary heart assault that has modified his life and priorities
  • The Spain and Madrid legend turns 40 at present 20 May
  • He talks to FIFA.com about his issues, new tasks and cherished reminiscences

“We footballers believe that, because we’re monitored more, we won’t suffer from heart problems. However, cases like mine, and others even more serious, show that unfortunately that’s not the case,” says Iker Casillas on what issues him most at present, his fortieth birthday.

On 1 May 2019, his life was turned the wrong way up. The 2010 world champion suffered a coronary heart assault whereas coaching together with his membership Porto. That day every little thing modified for him and he needed to go away behind what he cherished most, taking part in soccer, bringing his motivation and enthusiasm to new tasks as an alternative.

To coincide together with his fortieth birthday, FIFA.com chatted to Casillas about these tasks and reminisce about a few of the key moments in his glittering profession.

FIFA.com: Congratulations in your fortieth birthday. How particular is that this day for you?

Iker Casillas: Thank you very a lot. My birthday has all the time been particular, however for two years I’ve additionally celebrated the date I had a coronary heart assault. That was the day I was born again.

That occurred in 2019 and compelled you to retire from soccer. Have your priorities and the method you view soccer modified?

The coronary heart assault modified my life, after all. It pressured me to go away behind what I cherished the most, which was taking part in soccer, at a time when my enthusiasm for competing at the highest degree was nonetheless intact.

Fortunately, life goes on, albeit with completely different priorities, and now I’m excited and busy throughout this part of my life with my work at Real Madrid, my Foundation, La Liga in addition to my enterprise tasks.

Can you inform us why you’re feeling it’s vital to lift consciousness of coronary heart illness and the way this may save lives?

It is vital to make everybody conscious that coronary heart illness might be detected and prevented, whether or not you’re a sportsperson or not. People ought to routinely have examine-ups to keep away from nasty scares.

I collaborate with numerous initiatives to help analysis tasks. One that I’m particularly pleased with is a venture with Idoven, a cardiological begin-up that mixes AI, wearable expertise and cardiologists to forestall coronary heart illness and sudden demise via early detection.

How vital is it for gamers to bear in mind that they can also undergo coronary heart issues?

“We footballers imagine that, as a result of we’re monitored extra, we received’t undergo from coronary heart issues. However, circumstances like mine, and others much more critical, present that sadly that’s not the case. Elite sportspeople are extra uncovered as a result of the bodily calls for that require us to push our our bodies nearer to the limits. There are additionally moments of stress as a result of competitions that may improve the threat of those issues showing.

Given all that, what do you treasure most out of your profession? Do you now place even better retailer on what you probably did as a participant?

I treasure every little thing as a result of the good instances have been exceptionally good, whereas the not-so-good ones could make you even higher. But my debut for Real Madrid, my first Champions League title, the two EUROs and, clearly, the South African World Cup are indelible reminiscences.

You have been a basic a part of the golden age that modified Spanish soccer. What do you keep in mind about EURO 2008 and your coach Luis Aragones?

The finest reminiscence is the environment we had at the moment in the squad. We have been workforce-mates and buddies. The group was tightknit and led by Aragones, who was the one who actually imbued us with confidence and compelled us to imagine that we may obtain what we got down to do.

Then got here the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. How do you keep in mind the construct-as much as that and the expectations again residence, given that you simply have been going into it as European champions?

I keep in mind us being assured. We had a tremendously sturdy group and a way of solidarity. In quick, we have been a workforce in the actual sense. Obviously after successful the EURO we went there as considered one of the favourites, which all the time brings added strain and accountability.

But you already know you may have the whole nation behind you and that it is as much as everybody in the group to have the identical aim. We believed we may develop into world champions for the first time in our historical past, and that gave us the psychological power and confidence that swept us to the title – although not with out some moments of anguish.

You started that World Cup with a defeat to Switzerland. Aside from the 2-0 win over Honduras, all the different victories, together with the Final, have been by single aim margins…

We began poorly and completed strongly. We didn’t fully boss any sport, however we have been a really balanced aspect. We knew we might all the time rating and that we have been laborious to attain towards. That solidity throughout all our traces and all the time being accountable for video games was what made us certain of success.

The shot you saved from Robben, how Puyol congratulated you, your tears after Iniesta’s aim… What do you recall about these moments from the 2010 Final?

What I keep in mind is that it wasn’t a aim! (Laughs) Everything occurred very quick, however when I noticed Robben racing in direction of me, it was as if time had slowed down, like sluggish movement. When he curled the ball, I managed to get my foot to it and deflect it large. It’s a second of play that can all the time be remembered.

As for Puyi, the fact is that I do not actually keep in mind what he advised me, since you’re experiencing many feelings at a time like that. I simply keep in mind he squeezed me laborious. Andres’ aim had all of it. The transfer started at the again with that galloping run down the flank by Navas. Iniesta picks it up and it finally ends up with Cesc, who finds Torres. He in flip tries to select Andres however his go is minimize out, solely to fall again to Cesc, who this time finds Iniesta…

I keep in mind it in sluggish movement, the second he struck it, the minutes on the clock, and what that meant… After that it’s like an explosion; all the feelings that we’d been protecting in examine rushed to the floor – a type of collective insanity…

The circle closed with a 4-0 conquer Italy in the last of EURO 2012, the greatest win in the historical past of European Championship deciders.

No workforce had ever received the last by so large a margin, however we nonetheless had lots of respect for our opponents. Opposite me was Buffon, who’s a buddy and somebody I admire, so a part of you is in his sneakers too.

At membership degree, you’ve got completed all of it with Real Madrid. From being named in the squad for a primary-workforce sport in Norway when simply 16 to turning into considered one of the membership’s nice captains and successful three Champions League titles… What do you keep in mind most?

I keep in mind every little thing as a type of evolution. From the second I was taken out of college for that Champions League sport, I’ve skilled a profession with ups and downs. The titles have been essential, however for me the finest second was when I arrived at Real Madrid for the first time at the age of 9.

I made my first workforce debut very younger in a match at La Cathedral (Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames stadium), a second that can all the time stick with me. Then I went again to Castilla (Madrid’s reserve workforce). I then spent a season when Caesar [Sanchez] was first alternative for the first workforce, however that type of competitors for locations teaches you to be higher and excel. Everything that occurred to me, the good and the not so good, was essential to get the place I am.

Moments from Iker’s life in his phrases

“A first-team debut in a mythical stadium such as San Mames leaves its mark. It’s a magical moment.”
The significance of his debut for Real Madrid on 12 September 1999

“The turning point was the quarter-final against Italy. Finally, the curse of the quarters was consigned to history, and that generation of footballers were ready to do great things.”
On his first title with Spain at EURO 2008

“It’s the biggest title you can win with your national team, but it means so much more. I was honoured and proud to be captain at the time, but all my team-mates and all of Spain lifted that Cup with me. When we returned to Spain it really sunk in when we saw what a huge impact it had made.”
What the 2010 World Cup meant for Spain

“It was a validation of that generation’s dominance in world football. Spain had created a style, a model of play that had devotees all over the world and which enthralled fans.”
On the EURO 2012 title and shutting the 2008-2010-2012 successful circle

“It was the best decision once my time as a Real Madrid player had come to an end. Porto is another of Europe’s big clubs, and it allowed me to continue competing at the highest level. We’ll always be grateful to them. The affection shown by the club and its fans helped us to quickly adapt to life there.”
On his transfer to Porto in the summer time of 2015

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