Here, we will take a look at some of the top saves of Casillas. Spain has consistently produced world class players in their footballing history. Players like Raul Gonzalez and Carlos Puyol have proved to be nothing short of idols for the Spanish team as they have given their sublime best for the team, helping them to win numerous accolades. Their style of play has been highly entertaining as they have been successful in warding off many threats from other teams. And, now, with a pillar between the posts, Spain has developed into one of the better teams as a whole. Who is this pillar? He is one of the Merengues, Iker Casillas.
Iker Casillas is the captain of the Spanish national team and Real Madrid F.C. Considered as one of the best in the game presently, Casillas has made a record appearances of 154 caps for his country. Also, he has been included in the UEFA team of the year 6 times. He also holds a record for the goalkeeper with the most appearances in the UEFA Champions League. As the Spanish keeper practices for Spain’s upcoming World Cup matches, we take a look at some of his top-class saves which made him the legend he is now.
5. vs Lazio, UEFA Champions League, Group Stage, 2007/2008
The match ended 3-1 in the Merengues’ favour. But it didn’t end without a moment of sheer genius. It didn’t end without chants of “Iker! Iker!” rousing around the stadium. This genuine moment came when Lazio got a penalty. Rocchi stepped up to take it. Rocchi placed it perfectly in the bottom right corner. But Iker was like a Boeing 747. A classy flying machine. Casillas saved it and just made it easy. A subsequent shot by another player was again saved by Casillas. Again, he just makes it seem so easy.
4. vs Real Zaragoza, Copa Del Rey Final, 2003/2004
As Real Madrid went on to lose a tightly contested match 2-3 on extra-time, there were still some moments which Real Madrid fans could savour and Casillas was right in the centre of one of these moments. Here, a free-kick from Zaragoza dipped and was creeping into the bottom corner of the net before the lightning reflexes of Casillas was brought to fore and the follow up shot was also quickly saved by the Spaniard before a Madrid defender cleared it away. Such is the mastery of the Spaniard at his trade.
3. vs Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League Semi-final, 2011/2012
The Bavarians were beginning to become an unfathomable force in football as they played the game with some immense quality and commitment. Sometimes, they just knew where the other player was without even having to look up. Opponents were getting baffled by the way things were turning out for them in matches against the Bavarians. Therefore, when the Catalans hosted Bayern at their home soil, they were apprehensive. But a dominant leadership performance from Casillas helped them to win the match but, sadly, they lost on penalties. The sheer moment of inspiration which encouraged them to plod through the match was this. Bayern got a penalty which was stopped by Casillas before a quick-fire volley, on the rebound, was again stopped by Casillas. A brilliant moment for the Madrid team and the fans alike.
2. vs Juventus, UEFA Champions League Group Stage, 2012/2013
Real travelled to Delle Alpi knowing that a win or a draw could maintain their solidarity at the top of Group B. And they managed it through some nervous play by the attackers, midfielders and defenders. But nott the keeper. The Spaniard kept the Catalans in the match with some top-class saves throughout, the best being the one from Claudio Marchisio. As Carlos Tevez crossed the ball from the left into the far corner of the Madrid goal, Marchisio headed it towards goal. But the Spaniard was equally up to it as he was aware of the danger and made a reflex save when he stretched his leg out just in time to save the shot. Marchisio. Just when small murmurs of “GOOL” had started, the Spaniard rose to the occasion and silenced the Juventus fans.
1. Vs Holland, World Cup Final 2010
Spain and Holland gave some really impressive performances in the build-up to the final and therefore, there was no clear favourite for the trophy. The match was proving out to be a stalemate and was heading into extra time just when one of the most important incidents of regular time took place. Sneijder sent Robben clean through on goal with just Casillas to beat and he did well by sending the keeper the other way, but Casillas’s reflexes did the trick yet again as he dived on the right but stretched his legs more to save Robben’s shot on the right. A save which kept Spain in the match and inspired them to score a goal in extra time to win the World Cup. A truly inspiring moment for Spanish fans and the team. A moment which they will never forget due to the magnitude of the result that it presented.Published 12 Jun 2014, 18:13 IST