Iker Casillas “conquered the hearts of the Madridistas” and Real Madrid will always be his home, said president Florentino Perez in a glowing tribute.
Los Blancos legend Casillas officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, although he has not played since suffering a heart attack in training with Porto on May 1 last year.
Casillas rose through the youth ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu, making his first-team debut in 1999 as a teenager and going on to make 725 appearances for the club before departing in 2015.
During that time, former captain Casillas won every major honor possible with Madrid – including five LaLiga titles and the Champions League on three occasions, while he also became a two-time European Champion and a World Cup winner with Spain.
Perez said Casillas earned the respect of team-mates and rivals alike during a glittering career.
“Iker Casillas is one of the great symbols of Real Madrid. The Madridistas are especially proud of one of our eternal captains today, captain also of the Spanish national team,” Perez said.
“Today, Iker Casillas bids farewell as a professional player, having contributed to further enlarging the myth and Real Madrid legend.
“He came to our club as a boy, at just nine years old, and here he has grown up, he has formed and has become a benchmark for all football fans.
“From Real Madrid today we want to convey to you our love, our admiration, and of course, our gratitude for all that he has given us, both inside and outside the pitches.
“And I also want to thank your wife Sara, all the support she’s always given to Iker Casillas. For Sara, also, all our affection.
“Iker represents the values of Real Madrid. This club is the most beloved and admired in the world and is admired [for] players like Iker Casillas. With his commitment, with his work and with his humility he has conquered the hearts of the Madridistas, but also the respect of their rivals.
“In this club, with this shield and this jersey, he’s won it all. For Real Madrid and for Madridistas from all corners of the world it has been an honour to have a goalkeeper, a captain, like Iker Casillas.
“He is a reference for children who come to our Real Madrid City with the dream to one day wear our jersey. His legacy will always be here. Iker knows that this is and will always be your home.”