Friday, December 23, 2011

Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas Fernández (born 20 May 1981) is a Spanish football goalkeeper who plays for the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, being the captain of both. In 2008 he led the Spanish national team to their first European Championship in 44 years, and in 2010, to win the World Cup, being also named the tournament's best goalkeeper.

Since his early professional years as a teenager, Casillas has been recognised as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, being nominated for the European Footballer of the Year award twice, ranking fourth overall in 2008 and continuing to be the highest-ranked goalkeeper again in 2009. At the end of 2009 he was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for the third consecutive time. As of 2011 Casillas is one of a very select group of players who have won all major club and national championship titles. In 2010, he was awarded with the Sports Prince of Asturias Award. On 19 October 2010, Casillas became the most capped goalkeeper of all time in the UEFA Champions League and in November 2011, he became the most capped player of all time for the Spanish national team.

Early life
Casillas was born on 20 May 1981 in Móstoles, Community of Madrid to José Luis Casillas, a civil servant in the Ministry of Education, and María del Carmen Fernández González, a hairdresser. Both his parents had emigrated from their home town of Navalacruz, Ávila. When Iker was a child, he lived for some years in the Basque Country, but he has always considered Madrid to be his hometown. Casillas has a brother, seven years younger, named Unai, who currently plays as a central midfielder for CD Móstoles.

As a young child, one weekend Casillas forgot to post his father’s football predictions on the weekend his father had correctly predicted all 14 results. The family lost out on an estimated €1m.

Personal life
Since 2009, Casillas has been in a relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero.

In 2011, Casillas was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme's Millennium Development Goals.

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