Madrid, July 12 (IANS) Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas bid an emotional farewell to his club on Sunday as he confirmed a move to Portuguese club Porto, ending a 25-year-old career at the Spanish team.
Casillas reportedly signed for Porto on Saturday night. A tearful Casillas, thanked the club’s fans for supporting him but also said he is looking forward to playing for his new club. He spent his entire career until now at Real Madrid rising through the youth ranks to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.
“I have come to this great stadium today to say goodbye to all of you, especially to the Madrid fans. As of Saturday I’m no longer a Real Madrid player, now I’ll be a Porto player,” Casillas was quoted as saying by goal.com o Sunday.
“I am moving to Porto for many reasons. Firstly I am joining Porto because of the excitement that the coach has transmitted to me.
Secondly, because of their affection, they have won me over. I’ll do everything I can to not disappoint them and fight as hard as possible to win as many titles as I possibly can there,” he added.
Struggling hard to hold back tears, the 34-year-old muttered only a few words and urged fans to remember him as a “good person”.
“This club didn’t just teach me how to be a sportsman, it taught me how to be a person. I’ve learned a lot from all of my coaches. They have been a fundamental part of my development and my career. Every day we’ve been forming a part of Real Madrid and they’ve always supported me,” the 34-year-old said.
“I want to say thank you to my parents and all my family. Thank you to the Madrid fans for their support, helping me lift every cup, every triumph, for being with me in the good moments and the bad moments, for giving me a hand when I needed lifting up,” said Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning captain.
“I don’t want to be remembered as a good goalkeeper or a bad goalkeeper, I just want to be remembered as a good person, with my faults. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand thank yous. Wherever I go, I will always shout ‘Hala Madrid’.”
“I’m sure in the future we’ll see each other. I’m not going to say goodbye, because it’s not goodbye. I hope to see you soon. Thank you, to all of you,” he concluded.