Spain’s goalkeeping icon Casillas stable after suffering heart attack


Casillas sale de la unidad de cuidados intensivos y evoluciona favorablemente. (Cortespia)

PORTO.- Former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was in a stable condition and surrounded by his family at the hospital Thursday after he suffered a heart attack while training for his Portuguese club Porto.

The World Cup-champion is set to turn 38 this month and suffered an acute myocardial infarction during a training session Wednesday and was rushed to CUF Hospital, where doctors performed a catheterization.

«Our basketball team wanted to leave this message to Iker Casillas, Strength Iker,» Porto said on its official Twitter account on Thursday.

Doctors were expected to further evaluate Casillas’ case again throughout the day in order to inform the club of his state.

«FC Porto and Iker Casillas have received thousands of messages of support for the goalkeeper,» the club said.

The soccer player’s clinical situation «has touched people from all over the world, demonstrating once again that Casillas is a recognized and cherished figure all over the planet,» the club added.

«Porto is grateful for all messages sent to their goalkeeper, who is ‘well and stable,’ as the club doctor explained,» Porto added.

On Wednesday, Casillas posted a photo of himself smiling in his hospital bed, saying, «All under control here! A big scare but everything is intact. Thanks so much for all the messages and affection.»

The keeper’s wife Sara Carbonero also shared a photo of her holding hands with Casillas late Wednesday.

«Life sometimes has that strange way of reminding us to celebrate each heartbeat,» she wrote.

Casillas’ representative, Carlo Cutropia, told a Spanish radio station that the goalkeeper would spend three days in the hospital to ensure his health condition was stable.

Dr. Nelson Puga, FC Porto’s team physician, said Casillas would fully recover, however, Puga added that Casillas will need a further report to assess whether he can play again at the highest level.

The keeper’s former club, Real Madrid, responded to the news of the famed goalie’s heart attack with a statement of support.

«Iker Casillas taught us during his professional career how to overcome the most incredible challenges to bring the club to new heights of glory,» the Capital side regarding their former long-time captain.

In his 16 years with Real Madrid, Casillas won the UEFA Champions League three times, La Liga five times, the Copa del Rey twice, the Spanish Super Cup four times and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.

He was just 19 when he hoisted the Champions League trophy for the first time in 2000, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.

With Porto, Casillas has won the 2017-2018 Primeira Liga crown and the 2018 Portugal Super Cup.

Casillas also leads all goalkeepers with 187 Champions League appearances and has posted the highest number of clean sheets in the tournament: 59.

Capped 167 times, Casillas was part of the Spain side that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

Porto is currently two points behind Primeira Liga leaders Benfica with two matches left in the domestic season.

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