Iker’s Final Presser

12 Jul

So I’ve been lying in bed since the ass crack of dawn, looking at these pictures and dreading writing this post. I can’t really put it off any longer. Gotta just bite the bullet and get on with it. I’ll tell what though, watch Iker Casillas crying his way through a press conference is definitely not how I wanted to start my day.

This is painful no matter how you slice it. It doesn’t matter whether you love him or hate him. Seeing a man say goodbye to something that has defined him for 25 years is heartbreaking. Long ago, I remember breaking up with someone I had been with for years – a relationship that I thought would last a lifetime. At the time, I thought “If I’m not yours, then who am I?” It took me a long time to sort out my new identity without this relationship and feel settled. I’m guessing Iker is going to experience something similar and I wish him strength on that journey. Sometimes a fresh start, no matter how painful, is the best thing that can happen to a person. (It certainly was for me).


Iker Casillas’ farewell speech

This is the transcript of the speech given by Iker Casillas in the Santiago Bernabéu’s press room:

“First of all, good afternoon everyone, thank you for being here and accompanying me at such a special time. Today I have come to this stadium, this great stadium, to say goodbye to you all, particularly to the Real Madrid supporters.

As you all know, as of yesterday I am no longer a Real Madrid player and will now be joining Porto. The decision to join Porto boils down to two important reasons. Firstly, the excitement conveyed to me by the president, the director Antero and the manager Julen, who I have know for some time and, above all else, by the whole team.

And secondly, for the affection shown to me since it more or less became known that Portugal was to be my destination. And in that respect, they have won me over and that makes me very happy. I will do my all not to let them down and will fight as hard as I can to win as many titles as possible with my new team. For that, thank you Porto for the faith you have shown me.

And now I would like to address the Real Madrid supporters. After 25 years of defending the crest of the world’s greatest football team, a difficult day has arrived in my sporting career. It is time to say goodbye to this institution which has given me everything. I seems like only yesterday when as a nine-year-old I put on the Real Madrid jersey for the first time and my dream came true. During all this time we have suffered, laughed, cried and celebrated together. I have always felt supported and very loved, during both the good times as well as during bad times.

This club has not only taught me to be an athlete, but it has also shaped me as a person, it has helped me grow, instilling in me the values its crest represents: respect, camaraderie, commitment and, above all else, humility. I have always tried to take these values with me wherever I’ve travelled to represent Real Madrid.

Today I would also like to remember all the team-mates I have worked with during each of the seasons I have been here. Over the course of these years we have experienced unique moments together. These team-mates are like family to me and we have cried tears of joy and sadness together.

I am leaving behind great friends but I know that wherever I go I will always be able to contact them, and likewise they will be able to get in touch me. I also want to remember all the trainers I have worked under, beginning with those I had when I started out in the local tournament with the Losada team. From Mezquita, may you rest in peace, as it was you who got me started with the Real Madrid under-10 seven-a-side team, all the way to my last manager, Carlo Ancelotti. I remember them all because I learned so much from them.

And their technical teams, who for me also played a huge role in my development and my career as I was able to be part of Real Madrid and become a football player. They all gave me advice and transmitted wisdom during the dark moments. We shared a lot of happy times together, and that’s without taking their amble experience and professionalism into account. I have learned a lot from every one of them.

Of course I also thank all the staff, those behind the scenes, who day in day out are part of Real Madrid and always helped me solve whatever problem I was having. They may not be seen but they’re always there.

All my love goes to my parents and my whole family, who through their great efforts and concern for me have helped me along this road, which has been a difficult but incredible experience.

And above all else, thanks to my wife and son, because they will be by my side sharing each moment of this exciting new phase of my life with me.

And these last few lines are dedicated especially for all of you, the Real Madrid supporters, who know no boundaries. Thank you for the unconditional support you have given me since I joined the team at 18 years of age, for allowing me to lift each cup, celebrate each triumph, be your captain for the last five years. For being with me during the good times and the bad. For holding out your hand so I could lift myself up.

There’s a phrase I’ve often used in interviews and I’m going to use again: above being remembered for being a good or a bad goalkeeper, all I would like is for people to remember me as a good person. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I’ll never be able to forget you and you can be sure that wherever I end up I’ll continue to shout: Hala Madrid!”.

The mothership posted an official statement about his leaving. Yeah, whatever. Not talking to you right now, Real Madrid.

Iker was obviously emotional throughout the statement and took no questions from the press.

On Instagram, he posted an abridged version of his remarks and released a beautiful video about his time with the club. Get out the tissues – you’ll need them.

View this post on Instagram

After 25 years of defending the crest of the greatest team in the world, the most difficult day in my sports career has arrived: I have to say goodbye to an institution that's given me everything. During all this time, we've suffered, laughed, cried and had a good time together. I’ve always felt loved and the club has been unfailingly there for me, in both the good times and the bad times. This club has not only taught me to be an athlete, it has pushed me to develop as a person. It has helped me to grow, instilling in me the values that its crest defends: respect, team spirit, commitment, humility… and I've tried to reflect those values wherever I've represented Real Madrid. Today I'd like to make a special mention to all my team-mates. Throughout all these years, we've experienced unique and unrepeatable times together, team-mates with whom I've formed a family and shared tears of both joy and sadness. I'm leaving some great friends, but I know that wherever I may be, I can always count on them, just like they can count on me. My coaches and their staff have been my teachers, the best in the world: I'd like to thank them all, for their advice, their understanding, their experience and their professionalism. I’ve learned so much from all of them. I'd also like to thank all the staff: They've always been ready to support me and solve any problem. And all my affection for my parents and all my family, who through their efforts and devotion helped me to embark on this journey. And above all, my wife and my son, because they will be by my side every day, sharing every second of this exciting period in my life. And these final words, I dedicate them especially to all of you, Real Madrid fans, who know no bounds. Thank you for your unconditional support, for allowing me to raise each cup, for each victory, for being your captain, for being there in the good times and the bad, for extending your hand to me and for lifting me up. Don’t remember me for being a good or bad goalkeeper… Remember me as a good person, with its defects. Thank you to so many for so much. I'll never forget you, and wherever I go, I'll continue to shout: Hala Madrid!!!!!

A post shared by Iker Casillas (@ikercasillas) on

There was an outpouring of love on social media by teammates/opponents past and present. And in the middle of all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder “Where is something from Sergio?” He didn’t disappoint me, putting out this tweet and video today.

And so it has come to pass. Am I the only person who finds it weird that Iker is off to join Porto, the club that gave Mou his first big triumph? Life is just so weird.

And you may have noticed that I’m trying not to focus on that ridiculous inflammatory interview Iker’s parents gave. But I do want to say something about it. For those who don’t know, Iker is estranged from his parents and even sued them in the past. I can’t help but think that this is going to drive an even bigger wedge between them. His mother’s comments are bang out of order and ridiculously inappropriate (saying Porto is not worthy of a player of Iker’s standing, suggesting Iker go to Barcelona because they’re “gentlemen”, the mind just boggles). His dad admits he doesn’t speak to him. They just tossed their dirty laundry out there for everyone to see and it’s not pretty. They point the finger at everyone, seem like Grade A 1 conspiracy theorists, and don’t make Iker look flattering either.  The fact that he gave them 5 million, various real estate holdings and pays them over 9K a month to not make disparaging comments on himself, Sara and his agent shows how tense the relationship is. Wonder if he’s going to cut off their allowance? He probably should. While it’s not direct comments, it’s sure made a crappy situation even messier. It’s all just so UGH. Absolutely the worse thing that they could have done. He’s trying to leave the club with some dignity and they just blew that right out of the water with their ill advised remarks. Anyhow, there’s various translations of the interview – Una did a partial translation and Sky Sports had some “highlights.”  What a fucking embarrassment. I bet he is seething and I don’t blame him. His parents are tactless and have no class. Sometimes it’s best just to keep your damn mouth shut. There was no way Iker leaving wasn’t going to have an element of clusterfuckery, but this is really unpleasant.

Sigh. I guess we should just watch the videos and remember the good times, avoid finger pointing and just hope that Iker’s fresh start reinvigorates him and makes him happy. Best of luck, Capi. We’ll keep following your career.

– Lozil

14 Responses to “Iker’s Final Presser”

  1. Christine July 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    Ughhh, no words other than Thank You Iker!
    Ok some other words Perez Sucks. Just had to get that out there.

  2. mygypsyspirit July 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    I’ll try to translate a little later. I’m not at home right now.

    • headbandsandheartbreak July 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      If you have time, that would be awesoe. It would be good to have a complete translation. What I’ve read and been able to puzzle out on my own is incredibly disturbing.

  3. Zam July 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Too, too, too sad… Sese though; Ozil and now Iker! Are they trying to kill him with sadness or what? Perez should be charged with attempted murder.

    • headbandsandheartbreak July 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      Starting to wonder if Nando is really pulling the strings and trying to remove all the competition for Sese’s heart.

      • jellyace July 13, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

        I’m going to miss those tunnel besos.

    • Dr. Heidi July 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      That gave me a little grin amidst all this chaos…..

      • Dr. Heidi July 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

        when I first heard of Iker’s departure, I almost immediately thought of the effect it would have on my dear Sergio…. 🙂

  4. Allison July 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Sad. Not one representative from the club. Teammates on a plane to another continent. No supporters. Just poor, sad Iker. My heart is just broken for him.

    • futbolfan July 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Ok, that hurt. Wow…his teammates aren’t even there to say goodbye! D’: I AM SO PISSED AT THIS CLUB

    • headbandsandheartbreak July 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      I honestly think he didn’t want anyone there. The timing is just too spot on. Many of the players did post supportive messages on social media so at least he knows they’re thinking of him and my guess is that they probably called him as well.

  5. Katie Ann July 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh, I hate seeing him cry. I think you’re right on with your remarks about him having to sort out his identity; I have a bit of experience with that as an athlete (when my sprinting career ended), and it’s HARD. He’ll come through it, though.

  6. jellyace July 13, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    2 legends, Xavi and Iker, buddies, co-captains of Spain, both leaving their boyhood clubs. One consolation is that Portugal and Porto are much better than Qatar and Al Saad. Yes, Xavi, the grass is always greener on the other side, where Iker is.

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