Casillas drops hint of international retirement

Madrid, March 28 (IANS) Spain international goalkeeper Iker Casillas has hinted that he will soon draw the curtains down on his record breaking football career.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid goalkeeper, who now plays for Portuguese side Porto, made his 166th appearance for his country as Spain drew 0-0 away to Romania in a friendly on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

That appearance saw him beat the record of Latvian player Vitalijs Astafjevs to become the European footballer with the most international appearances. But Casillas has hinted that his time defending his country’s goal could soon come to an end.

After the game Casillas decided to hold a brief chat with fans on his Twitter account and answered several questions about his career until one question “Do you see the moment of your retirement close?”

Casillas responded, “It is getting closer all the time. It’s close,” which some will take as the biggest sign yet that he will retire from international football at the end of the 2016 European Championships.

Casillas produced several good saves during Sunday’s match, but the form shown by Manchester United keeper, David de Gea, who was excellent in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Italy has led to calls for the 25-year-old to be first choice at this summer’s European Championships.

Up until now, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has always been loyal to Spain captain Casillas, but with Del Bosque likely to retire after the championship, both may think the time has come to look to the future.

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