Golden Foot Candidates: Iker Casillas

Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s awards.

Iker Casillas is the only goalkeeper on this list.

The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.

Iker-Casillas1

Full Name: Iker Casillas Fernandez

DOB: May 20, 1981

Clubs: Real Madrid CF*

Why has he been included on this list?

If one were to give all the players on this list the once over, one would find that all the ten candidates on it have been models of consistency at the highest level of the game throughout their careers. It is the same with Iker Casillas.

To be the only constant in a Real Madrid side that has constantly seen major changes both on and off the pitch since he joined the club in 1990.

Having spent his entire professional career at the Santiago Bernabeu, he is afforded a strain of love and respect that has stood the test of time, the likes of which Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham and the rest of the Galacticos were seldom afforded at Real.

That he has still managed to earn the same love and adulation on a near-permanent basis from the Madrid faithful, despite the presence of more glamorous players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Kaka and Mesut Ozil pays tribute to his quality, having won the IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Year Award five times in a row, the only goalkeeper to do so since its inception in 1987.

Since having made his debut for his country in 2000, San Iker, as he is known, has gone on to become his country’s most capped player, which shows just how good he is at the highest level.

What’s he won?

Iker Casillas is the backbone of a Real Madrid side that has won five La Liga titles since he began to feature for the first team in 1999.

He’s added a plethora of trophies to those five league championships. He has to his name one King’s Cup, four Spanish Super Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Intercontinental Cup.

He’s also won the Champions League twice, lifting Europe’s Holy Grail in 2000 and 2002.

Casillas was more than instrumental in announcing the arrival of the Spanish onto world football’s competitive stage. He was a part of the side that ended Spain’s hoodoo of being labelled perennial chokers when his team won Euro 2008.

Despite being such an accomplished goalkeeper at club level, his crowning glory would have most certainly been guiding Spain to the World Cup in South Africa three years ago.

La Roja then made history by becoming the first side to successfully defend their European Championship when they retained it in Poland-Ukraine last summer.

They will look to become only the second side (after Italy) to hold their World Cup crown and with Casillas in the side, that could well happen.

Casillas’ top-drawer performances have seen him named into the FIFA World Team of the Year on five different occasions. On those occasions, he also picked up the FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year Award, adding to his very large collection of personal honours.

Saint Iker lifting the world cup

Saint Iker lifting the world cup

Best and worst moments

Surely, as mentioned above, his best moment would have been lifting the World Cup after seeing his country underwhelm on the international stage time and time again.

Breaking the shackles on Spain’s decades-long underachieving streak would also be up there.

But every player is happy only when he plays and game time is rare for second-choice goalkeepers. Not accustomed to being on the bench, Casillas found himself frozen out of Jose Mourinho’s squad midway through last season because of apparent disagreements between the Spaniard and the Portuguese.

What’s he like off the pitch?

Casillas is in a very well-publicised relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero. They are currently expecting their first child.

He is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and has been feted many times by the Spanish Government for his contributions to sporting excellence.

Casillas regularly travels around the world on charitable missions. In the past, he has been to Mali, China, Mexico, Peru and Chile, where he has worked with various NGOs.

Could he win the Golden Foot?

He most certainly could, but given that he could feature on the list again and there are those who have more experience, might be an outsider this time.

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