Iker Casillas has said former Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel is his favourite goalkeeper of all time.
The Spain international said the Dane had an immense presence in goal and played a significant part in Denmark’s Euro 1992 success as well as the glory years with the Red Devils – something that made a young Casillas sit up and take notice.
In an interview with the official club website, Casillas discussed his heroes and inspirations while growing up, and added that Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon is a close friend of his as the pair emerged at the same time and have enjoyed equally successful careers.
Speaking about Scmeichel, Casillas said: “I grew up when he was playing. I vaguely remember the European Championship in 1992, when Denmark were included at the last minute and the players were on holiday. Schmeichel had a fantastic tournament. That was when I started to follow his career. At Manchester he was an example to follow as a goalkeeper.”
Moving on to talk about the other influences in his long career, the club captain stated: “It helped me a lot that Buffon began his career so young. He’s three years older than me and, when he made his debut in 1998, there was a group of young goalkeepers, which I was a part of alongside Landreau and Frey, coming up behind him.
“If you see a young keeper at Parma starting to play for Italy because the coaches have faith in him, that makes you see that you can also do that. Our careers have been similar, because I also made my debut at a very young age and we’re still playing. We’ve been friends for many years.”