Gianluigi Buffon told the retiring Iker Casillas "without you everything would have been less meaningful" in an emotional social-media tribute.

There has long been a mutual respect between veteran Juventus legend Buffon and Real Madrid great Casillas, who have earned reputations as two of the greatest goalkeepers of their generation.

On Tuesday, Casillas called time on his career, which started with a Madrid debut in 1999 and saw him rack up 725 appearances, five LaLiga titles and three Champions League medals before departing for Porto in 2015.

Buffon is still going strong at the age of 42, albeit he departed Juve for a season at Paris Saint-Germain before returning last year and now largely acts as understudy to Wojciech Szczesny.

While Buffon has never experienced Champions League success with Juve, both he and Casillas have won the World Cup with Italy and Spain respectively.

Buffon credits Casillas for making him a better goalkeeper.

"They say competition makes us better than others but not perfect faced with ourselves," Buffon wrote on Twitter. 

"Maybe this futile pursuit of perfection is what made us who we are. 

"#Grac1as Iker, without you, everything would have been less meaningful."

Iker Casillas "conquered the hearts of the Madridistas" and Real Madrid will always be his home, said president Florentino Perez in a glowing tribute.

Los Blancos legend Casillas officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, although he has not played since suffering a heart attack in training with Porto on May 1 last year.

Casillas rose through the youth ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu, making his first-team debut in 1999 as a teenager and going on to make 725 appearances for the club before departing in 2015.

During that time, former captain Casillas won every major honour possible with Madrid – including five LaLiga titles and the Champions League on three occasions, while he also became a two-time European Champion and a World Cup winner with Spain.

Perez said Casillas earned the respect of team-mates and rivals alike during a glittering career.

"Iker Casillas is one of the great symbols of Real Madrid. The Madridistas are especially proud of one of our eternal captains today, captain also of the Spanish national team," Perez said. 

"Today, Iker Casillas bids farewell as a professional player, having contributed to further enlarging the myth and Real Madrid legend.

"He came to our club as a boy, at just nine years old, and here he has grown up, he has formed and has become a benchmark for all football fans.

"From Real Madrid today we want to convey to you our love, our admiration, and of course, our gratitude for all that he has given us, both inside and outside the pitches. 

"And I also want to thank your wife Sara, all the support she's always given to Iker Casillas. For Sara, also, all our affection.

"Iker represents the values of Real Madrid. This club is the most beloved and admired in the world and is admired [for] players like Iker Casillas. With his commitment, with his work and with his humility he has conquered the hearts of the Madridistas, but also the respect of their rivals.

"In this club, with this shield and this jersey, he's won it all. For Real Madrid and for Madridistas from all corners of the world it has been an honour to have a goalkeeper, a captain, like Iker Casillas.

"He is a reference for children who come to our Real Madrid City with the dream to one day wear our jersey. His legacy will always be here. Iker knows that this is and will always be your home."

Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from football, calling time on a decorated career with Real Madrid, Porto and Spain.

Casillas, 39 has not played since suffering a heart attack during training with Porto on May 1 last year, for which he required surgery.

In February this year, around the time he announced a subsequently withdrawn bid for the presidency of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Porto president Pinto da Costa said Casillas had retired.

The player himself did not publicly confirm the move, however, and Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao was last month forced to quash rumours that Casillas was set to turn out for the club in a farewell appearance – although he did take to the field to lift the Taca de Portugal at the weekend after his team-mates beat Benfica 2-1 to complete a domestic double.

In a statement released via social media on Tuesday, Casillas confirmed he would call time on his playing days.

"The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you," the 2010 World Cup-winning captain tweeted.

"Because that with work and effort, I think I can say, without hesitation, that is has been the path and the dream destination."

Casillas played four seasons at Porto and has was first choice before being forced to the sidelines.

But it is his exploits for Madrid and Spain for which his career will be remembered by most.

Casillas came through Madrid's academy and established himself in the first team as a teenager, eventually going on to play 725 times for the club in all competitions, a figure bettered by only Raul (741).

He won every trophy possible with Los Blancos, including three Champions Leagues and five LaLiga titles.

Casillas also starred in the historic Spain team that won the country's first World Cup in 2010 and ended a 44-year wait for European Championship success two years earlier. They went on to win Euro 2012 as well.

Widely regarded to be among the finest goalkeepers of his generation, he was Spain's record appearance-maker with 167 caps until Sergio Ramos overtook him last year.

Madrid issued a statement of their own in response to Casillas' retirement, declaring him to be the greatest ever keeper in their rich history.

"Real Madrid C. F. wants to show its recognition, admiration and affection for one of the biggest legends of our club and of world football," the statement read. 

"The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football joined us at the age of nine. He was formed here and defended our shirt for 25 years, becoming one of our most emblematic captains of all time.

"Iker Casillas earned the love of Madridismo and is a symbol of the values that Real Madrid represents. Today one of the most important footballers in our 118 years of history calls it a day as a professional player, a player we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has made the Real Madrid legacy bigger with his work and exemplary behaviour both on and off the pitch."

Madrid's statement added: "Iker Casillas belongs at the heart of Real Madrid and will do so forever. Real Madrid would like to convey to him and his family the love of our club, which is the club of his life."

Iker Casillas does not have a contract or the medical authorisation to play in one of Porto's final Primeira Liga games, says head coach Sergio Conceicao.

Real Madrid and Spain legend Casillas suffered a heart attack in a training session in May 2019 and has since retired as a player.

Porto wrapped up the Primeira Liga title with two games to spare by beating Sporting CP 2-0 on Wednesday.

Supporters subsequently posted '#IkerCampeao' on social media in a bid to get the 39-year-old goalkeeper an appearance before the conclusion of the season so he can be part of the triumph.

However, Conceicao criticised the movement because Casillas is not eligible to play for Porto anymore.

"People who ask for this have no idea what is going on. Iker cannot play," Conceicao said ahead of their meeting with Moreirense on Monday.

"I don't think he has medical authorisation and he has no contract with Porto, it is finished. That has nothing to do with it. We could make a contract for a day or a month, but he has to be in a healthy state. It is not possible.

"People are poorly informed and then they create these movements… People have the right to write what they want, but then such movements emerge."

Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa said Casillas had retired from playing upon him launching a bid to become the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation in February.

Casillas pulled out of the running in May but has been linked with a return to Madrid as an advisor to club president Florentino Perez.

Conceicao said: "Iker was a super important player for all of us. If his return to Real Madrid is confirmed, he is in good health and has a lot of strength for this new project."

Francisco Trincao is a great talent who can prosper at Barcelona, according to Danilo Pereira.

Barca announced the signing of Trincao back in January, the 20-year-old penning a five-year contract to join from Braga for a €31million fee.

The Portuguese forward is to finish the season in his homeland before heading to Camp Nou and has scored eight goals in 25 league appearances, in the process impressing Porto midfielder Danilo.

For Danilo, the key for his compatriot when he heads to Spain is having the right coach at Barca to aid his development.

"He's a great talent, a great talent," the Portugal international told Stats Perform News.

Danilo was in the Porto side that lost 2-1 at home to Trincao's Braga back on January 17.

"I think he's only 20 years old but he's playing very well in Braga, scoring a lot of goals. He has a lot to improve, but he's a great player," Danilo said.

"If he has the confidence and if he has a good coach for him, to help him grow, I think he will do really well in Barcelona."

Danilo was on target on Wednesday as Porto clinched their 29th Primeira Liga title with a 2-0 victory over rivals Sporting CP.

They have capitalised on a collapse by Benfica to be crowned champions again and Danilo has praised the impact Iker Casillas, the legendary goalkeeper whose retirement was confirmed in February, has had this season.

The former Spain captain moved to Porto in 2015 but had not played since suffering a heart attack during a training session last May. However, having joined the backroom staff, Casillas has continued to have a major influence.

"I like Casillas so much – he's always trying to help the youngsters," Danilo said when the Portuguese season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"He's a leader for us. I think he's a great man who tries all the time to help the people, to help the coach and everybody. For me, Iker Casillas is a legend."

Porto captured their 29th Primeira Liga title following the stunning capitulation of Portuguese rivals Benfica.

Boasting former Real Madrid defender Pepe, Porto celebrated a second league trophy in three seasons thanks to Wednesday's 2-0 victory over fierce foes Sporting CP.

Danilo Pereira and Moussa Marega scored in the second half to ensure Porto dethroned defending champions Benfica midweek with two matches remaining as iconic goalkeeper Iker Casillas heads into retirement.

Porto have been almost flawless since the season resumed in June following the coronavirus-enforced break in March, winning six of their eight matches, including five in a row.

Benfica, meanwhile, have only managed three victories since returning to action last month and just four wins from 13 league games since February to slip eight points adrift of Porto.

"The team is to be congratulated for what we did, and not only in this game," Pepe said. "Sporting were in very good form but we knew how to cancel out their strong points. This is down to the hard work and sacrifice our squad put in, we never stopped, not even during the confinement.

"What made us champions? Above all, the togetherness we had. We know we represent a very important region of the country and we all identify with this region. When things get tough we use this strength to overcome adversities. If I'm not mistaken, in the first game of the season against Gil Vicente [a defeat] I said we lose together and we win together, and today is proof of that. Not only us the players, but the entire club and all the fans.

"We didn't have holidays, we were always working, striving for perfection. It's difficult, but we were always striving for it. The spirit we had, the belief in our coach, he always believed. Today, here, we see the result."

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao added: "We won one of the most important titles in Porto's history. I'd like to dedicate this title to my family, who suffer a lot, my wife and my children and my parents."

Iker Casillas revealed a regret about the way he said goodbye to Real Madrid as he promised to return. 

The great Spanish goalkeeper played his final match for Madrid five years ago this weekend, leaving the club to join Porto. 

He left at the age of 34 after a 16-year first-team career at the Santiago Bernabeu, but to this day Casillas is sorry for the solitary nature of his exit. 

"I've rarely spoken about my departure from Real Madrid," Casillas wrote on Instagram. 

"I gave a press conference alone, a mistake, and I left. 5 years have passed since then. 5 years since I crossed the border that took me to our neighbouring country: Portugal. 

"I needed to feel something different again. Having a new environment, giving up being so exposed to criticism and wanting to improve. 

"So friends, all players (whether good or bad) want to improve. And for this you have to improve the physical and the mental side. And the latter was important. In Porto I felt it again. Let them not tell you other things." 

Casillas posted his message in the early hours of Sunday, accompanied by a picture of himself from his final match for Madrid, a 7-3 victory against Getafe on May 23, 2015. 

His message added: "I already knew it was going to be my last game. The Last Match. #iwillcomeback #madrid #buenasnochesmundo" 

Casillas said in February he intended to stand as a candidate in the next elections to decide the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). 

He suffered a heart attack in training with Porto last May and has since retired as a player. 

Over his career, he made 167 appearances for Spain and captained his country to success at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships of 2008 and 2012. 

With Madrid, his honours included five LaLiga titles and three Champions League successes. 

Spain, Real Madrid and Porto great Iker Casillas is set to retire after announcing his bid for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) presidency, according to the Portuguese club's president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.

Casillas suffered a heart attack in training with Porto last May and, although he has not played since, the 38-year-old never announced his retirement despite being added to the team's backroom staff in July.

He was then included in Porto's squad for the 2019-20 season, but Monday's announcement of his leadership bid in Spain led to strong suggestions retirement confirmation was imminent.

Although the goalkeeper has not spoken publicly on the matter himself, Pinto da Costa claims Casillas told him his playing days are over, as he looks set to rival incumbent RFEF chief Luis Rubiales.

"I was very happy. Casillas had an attitude that touched me a lot, because before announcing the candidacy he made a point of coming to Porto to have lunch with me to communicate that he would make that decision and end his career," Pinto da Costa told reporters on Tuesday.

"He has a great career, in which he has only been in two clubs and we know he has both at heart."

Casillas made 167 appearances for Spain and captained his country to success at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships of 2008 and 2012.

He is also regarded as an all-time great of Madrid, his boyhood club whom he solely represented before joining Porto in 2015.

A date for the latest RFEF election, which would appear to see Casillas take on Rubiales, is yet to be confirmed.

Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his intention to run for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) presidency.

Casillas made 167 appearances for Spain and captained his country to success at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships of 2008 and 2012.

The 38-year-old has been at Porto since leaving boyhood club Real Madrid in 2015, but he suffered a heart attack in a training session in May 2019.

Casillas has not featured for the club since and was added to the team's backroom staff in July, yet he was also included in their squad for the ongoing season and has not formally retired.

He did not announce an end to his playing career on Monday, but he thanked Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa for allowing him to pursue the RFEF opportunity.

He wrote: "Yes, I will stand for the presidency of the RFEF when the elections are called. Together we will put our federation at the height of the best football in the world: that of Spain.

"I have informed the president of my club, FC Porto, of this decision, to whom I can only express my deepest gratitude.

"We are working with the utmost respect in our candidacy. More than 23,000 voters await us in fair and transparent elections. 139 assembly members will decide.

"Thank you all for all the love I have continually received. Your support and your strength encourage me. Let's go for it! #IkerCasillas2020"

Luis Rubiales has been RFEF president since May 2018, although his tenure got off to a rocky start as Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup after agreeing to take the Real Madrid job following the finals.

Spain's coaching difficulties have since continued under Rubiales, with Luis Enrique appointed before stepping away as his daughter, Xana, battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Assistant Robert Moreno stepped up to the senior role but was later replaced by the returning Luis Enrique, with the pair - long-time colleagues and friends - falling out.

Rubiales has insisted the RFEF did not mishandle Luis Enrique's reappointment.

A date for the latest RFEF election, which would appear to see Casillas take on Rubiales, is yet to be confirmed.

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