He became the youngest goalkeeper to begin in a Champions League final match in 2000, and started Real Madrid to multiple national titles in following years. Casillas also starred for the Spanish teams that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.
Iker Casillas Fernndez was born on May 20, 1981, in Mstoles, Spain. Casillas grew up playing football along with his father and neighborhood pals, but was not involved in an organized league until he joined the Real Madrid youth system at age 9.
The agile Casillas appeared as a star goalkeeper as a teen, anchoring the defense for the Spanish junior national teams that won the 1997 UEFA European Under-16 Championship as well as the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Casillas broke through to Real Madrid’s senior side in 1999.
He was benched during the 2001-02 effort following an interval of inconsistent play, but reacted with several amazing saves late in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final vs. Bayer Leverkusen to maintain the win.
Casillas became Spain’s starting goalkeeper throughout the 2002 FIFA World Cup, earning acclaim because of his performance to assist his side reach the quarterfinals.
Named Spanish team captain following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Casillas loved an impressive stretch of individual and team success. He helped Real Madrid win back to back league titles in 2007 and 2008, in addition to the ’08 Spanish Supercup.
Casillas additionally helped Spain stop its long drought of international success along with his air-tight defense in the 2008 European Championship. Spain went to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2012 European Championship, with Casillas earning selection to the All Star teams of all three tournaments.
Casillas claimed another league title and Supercup success with Real Madrid in the year 2012, but the mix of a fractured finger and rift with manager Jos Mourinho resulted in diminished playing time the next season, clouding the future of the once-peerless goalkeeper.