FC Porto renew contract with Iker Casillas

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Lisbon, March 21 (IANS) FC Porto has announced that goalkeeper Iker Casillas has signed a contract extension with the Portuguese club.

“Iker Casillas has renewed his contract with FC Porto,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that the 37-year-old Spanish keeper has played a total of 149 matches for Porto since coming over from Real Madrid four years ago, the Efe news reported.

On its Twitter handle, Porto posted a video clip of Casillas and club president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa announcing the new deal on the pitch at the Estadio do Dragao.

“It is a very special day,” Casillas said. “I feel at home in this club. When the chance to renew (the contract) came, I did not hesitate.”

“When I got here, many thought it would be to play a year or two and finish. I only have words of appreciation for this club. Not only the club, but the city itself,” he said.

“I am committed to the club, to the city, to the President and to my teammates. I want to stay here until I finish my career as a football player,” said the World Cup-winning goalkeeper.

Casillas has said that he plans to retire at 40.

“Iker Casillas is a figure of world soccer and is also a figure of FC Porto,” Da Costa said, stressing that he hopes the Spaniard stays with the side until he’s ready to hang up his boots.

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

“I have great memories of great matches for FC Porto,” he said.

Porto are currently even on points with Primeira Liga leaders Benfica with eight matches left in the domestic season and are gearing up for a Champions League quarterfinal tie against Liverpool.

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

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.

Casillas also leads all goalkeepers with 185 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.

–IANS

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