It has been over a decade since the Spanish star first made his debut with the La Liga giants but it has already been quite a ride.
In this article we will take a look at the 20 greatest moments of Iker Casillas’ career. As always feel free to weigh in below in the comment section and note that all statistics are courtesy of his player profile at RealMadrid.com.
Iker Casillas has always been a winner and a star. From a very early age he was a leader and showed it on the international stage.
The first major trophy Casillas ever won was the U-15 European Championship with Spain which began his incredible career and saw his name talked about all around the world.
Winning this championship has to be a highlight of his career as it kick-started everything that would follow.
The youth career of Iker Casillas did not end with one championship being won. In 1997 the Spaniard returned to the international stage with Spain’s U-17 squad against winning the youth championship.
For Casillas it was yet again sign that stardom was in the making. For Real Madrid it was more confirmation that they had something very special.
Yes you read that subheadline right. Casillas was able to win three major championships during his youth career after leading the Spain U-19 side to glory in 1999.
This tournament signaled the beginning of his professional career as Iker Casillas had hype that he needed to live up to when he joined the first team.
The championships that Casillas won during his youth career were definitely important points in his career. But there is no moment that will match his debut for Real Madrid.
Casillas made his debut with Real Madrid on December 12, 1999 and has never looked back. Though the match against Athletic Bilbao ended in a 2-2 draw it would be the launching point for the keeper we know today.
One year after his debut for Real Madrid, Iker Casillas was awarded the Bravo trophy given to the best European footballer under the age of 21.
The very same year Casillas was named the La Liga breakthrough player of the year, showing that the talented Spaniard was the real deal.
The awards were already stacking up for Iker Casillas but this would only be the beginning.
In the 1999/2000 season Casillas not only made the move to the first team for Real Madrid, he achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in his career.
The young goalkeeper won the Champions League with Real Madrid.
This was a big jump from other trophies that Casillas had won. The Champions League trophy was Casillas’ first taste of a real title and he would want more as his career went on.
In his second full season with the Real Madrid senior squad Casillas led the Spanish giants to the La Liga trophy in 2001. It was his first domestic championship but it would not be his last.
Casillas was no longer a young star on the up at this point. He was a full-time starter and leader. He handled the transition with maturity.
The year 2001 was a big one in Casillas’ career. Not only was the young star the starting keeper at Real Madrid winning the La Liga trophy but he also lifted the Spanish Super Cup.
Two huge titles in 2001 marked the future for Casillas as fans knew they had something special. The young shot-stopper was already showing maturity and leadership but little did anyone know that Casillas had yet to even scratch the surface of his potential.
Now a leader for Real Madrid, Iker Casillas was able to take his team to a second Champions League title during the 2001/02 season. The Spanish star was no longer the little boy making a name for himself. He was now a winner.
Though it was the second time winning the coveted trophy in his career it would be the last time for Casillas.
Real Madrid has not been able to lift the Champions League trophy since the 2002 season but Casillas has remained hungry to deliver the elusive La Decima to the Real Madrid faithful.
Iker Casillas continued to lead Real Madrid as a European superpower when he won the European Super Cup in 2002.
Having won two Champions League titles and now being crowned the best in Europe it was clear that Casillas was quickly becoming one of the most successful keepers in the game despite being very young.
It may not have been quite as significant a trophy as the two Champions League titles, but it continued to prove a point. Casillas was here to stay.
Skipping ahead to 2007, Casillas was no longer just a great keeper. The Spanish star was now one of the very best in the game and was getting the recognition he deserved.
For the first time in his career Iker Casillas was named to the UEFA team of the year squad and it was clear that he was now considered one of the best players on the planet.
Casillas would go on to receive the same honor five more times in his career. It is not too late for him to do it again.
One year later Iker Casillas was receiving even more honors. The world had come to recognize just how great the Spaniard was and deservedly so.
In 2008 Casillas won the International Federation of Football History & Statistics award for the best goalkeeper of the year as well as the UEFA award for best goalkeeper in Europe. From this moment on the world would belong to Iker Casillas.
The year of 2008 continued to be huge for Iker Casillas. The Spanish keeper led Real Madrid to their 31st La Liga title and was the star of the domestic campaign.
In 36 matches Casillas conceded only 32 goals. It was one of the best season performances from a keeper in La Liga and it earned Casillas his first and only Zamora trophy.
As if 2008 wasn’t already a big year for Casillas, the Real Madrid keeper capped off the summer by leading Spain to the Euro 2008 championship.
The sight of Casillas lifting the trophy was inspiring and there was no doubting his leadership ability. The Real Madrid keeper was the best in the world and had no competition.
If anyone was unaware of just how good Casillas was they were brought to the light in 2009.
The Real Madrid man was awarded the FIFA award for the best goalkeeper in the game. He was also awarded the IFFHS and UEFA goalkeeping awards as well for the second year in a row.
There was no doubt just how good Casillas was. He stood out above every other keeper around and his success was not over yet.
There is nothing in the career of Iker Casillas that stands out as much as the World Cup in 2010.
The Spanish captain led his national team to Spain’s first ever World Cup championship with inspiring performances in just about every single match along the way.
For his exploits and leadership Iker Casillas was now a saint in Spain. He was the face and leader of La Roja and had delivered the most important piece of silverware in his career.
On top of winning the World Cup Iker Casillas was also personally awarded for the performances he put in during the competition.
He was named the best keeper at the World Cup and was handed the Golden Glove award to prove it. Casillas had now compiled what for many players would be a career that dreams are made of.
But still Casillas was not done.
Despite his already impressive career it was not until 2011 that Iker Casillas was able to lift the Copa del Rey trophy with Real Madrid.
After Real Madrid defeated Barcelona in the final match by the score of 1-0 to be named champions, it was all celebration from that point on. Casillas was again one of the most important players on the pitch and showed why he is considered the very best around.
The year of 2012 may have been a difficult time for Casillas at Real Madrid, but he was still the man for Spain without a doubt.
Casillas again led Spain to the Euro 2012 championship, making it three major international titles in a row.
The Spanish captain seemed like he had not missed a beat since the World Cup and was still the undeniable leader that held La Roja together.
Winning trophies is everything for a footballer. But for a man nothing comes close to the day that you become a father.
For Casillas, that day is drawing closer by the minute.
In July Goal.com reported that Iker Casillas and his girlfriend Sara Carbonero were expecting a baby. At the time it was believed that she was already 13 weeks pregnant meaning Casillas will officially be a daddy very soon.
The career of Iker Casillas has been one full of success. He will go down as one of the best to ever play his position and he may not even be done yet.
What moments do you believe are the biggest in Casillas’ career? Is there anything that should be added to this list? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
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