Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was back in Madrid on Tuesday to be presented with Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit – Spain’s top sports honour.
The 34-year-old was presented with the cross at Moncloa Palace by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Grand Cross is granted by Royal Decree in accordance with the Council of Ministers.
Casillas spent 16 years at Los Blancos winning a host of team and individual honours. Among his winners medals are three Champions Leagues, six La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, and four Spanish Supercopas.
At international level, Casillas played for the Spanish national team during the nation’s most successful period and picked up the World Cup in 2010, along with the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
Speaking after the collecting his award, Casillas said he hopes that when he retires, he is remember for more than just his sporting success.
“I would like to thank the Spanish government for presenting me with this medal. I’m not sure I deserve it, but I’m filled with happiness. I dedicate this award to the people who have helped me over the course of my career, but in particular my wife, Sara, and my son Martín.
“I hope that when my playing career comes to an end I’m not only remembered for my sporting achievements, but also for helping and giving back to society everything I’ve been given,” he said.