Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas suffers suspected heart attack
6th May 2021

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, 39, suffers suspected heart attack two years after first scare which forced him into retirement

  • Casillas was playing tennis with friends when he felt chest pain, local media said
  • He was rushed to hospital last Wednesday but doctors ruled out heart attack
  • Scare comes after heart attack he suffered during training at Porto in May, 2019
  • Casillas posted picture to Instagram at the weekend with the caption: ‘Live today, tomorrow we will see’

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has suffered a suspected heart attack two years after his first scare.

The 39-year-old Spaniard was playing paddle tennis with friends before feeling a sharp pain in his chest, local media reported. 

Casillas was rushed to hospital last Wednesday but doctors ruled out a heart attack.

The scare came just days from the anniversary of the heart attack he suffered during training at Porto in May, 2019, which forced him to retire from playing.

The cause of Casillas’ chest pains remains unclear but he posted to Instagram over the weekend to mark two years since his first hospitalisation, captioning the post: ‘Live today, tomorrow we will see.’

Ex-wife Sara Carbonero, who he divorced on March 12, commented on the photograph with a heart and an infinity emoji. 

Casillas posted to Instagram over the weekend to mark two years since his first hospitalisation, captioning the post: ‘Live today, tomorrow we will see.’ Ex-wife Sara Carbonero, who he divorced on March 12, commented on the photograph with a heart emoji and an infinity emoji.

Casillas playing for Madrid against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in February 2015. Across his illustrious career he won five LaLiga titles, four Spanish Super Cups, three Champions League titles, two European Championships, Intercontinental Cups, UEFA Super Cups, Copa Del Reys and a World Cup.


Casillas with Carbanero in 2017, left, and 2018, right. The pair have two children together and announced their divorce in March after five years of marriage

Casillas, who had 167 caps for Spain, famously kissed the TV presenter during a live interview after winning the World Cup in 2010.

Although the pair have split after 12 years together, reports claim ‘love and family have prevailed’ in the separation, with relationships remaining friendly and Casillas able to visit their two children ‘flexibly’. 

He previously described the sensation of a heart attack as ‘like you’re in a pool and suddenly you want to get out and you can’t.’ 

The footballing icon discussed the health scare at Porto last November as he promoted a new documentary Catching the Wings

He told Marca: ‘There is a sensation of half a second, or not even that, when you take a breath of air and it tastes different.

‘I noticed that I felt heavy and short of air, and I began to think it might be an allergy. Then, when I went to the goalkeeping coach, I felt my chest begin to tighten and I noticed that I was running out of air. 

‘I told him, “Roberto, give me sugar or something because I feel wrong and I don’t know what’s wrong with me”. I lay down on the ground and I could see something serious was happening to me.

‘It’s like you’re in a pool and suddenly you want to get out and you can’t, it was an anguish. I was getting more and more short of breath. “Roberto, please call the doctor,” I said. “I’m drowning”.’

Casillas returned to Porto training in July 2019 – two months after the heart attack – and was named in the Portuguese side’s squad but retired in August after not playing a game last season. 

Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeping icon suffered a heart attack while at Porto in May 2019

Casillas has openly discussed the experience of the heart attack for a new TV documentary

The 167-cap Spain international returned to training at the Portuguese side two months later but never got back on the pitch

The former Spain international is one of just 63 players and 16 goalkeepers to reach 1,000 professional matches.

Across his illustrious career he won five LaLiga titles, four Spanish Super Cups, three Champions League titles, two European Championships, Intercontinental Cups, UEFA Super Cups, Copa Del Reys and a World Cup.

He also has the most Champions League appearances (177) and clean sheets (57).

‘San Iker’, nicknamed for his miraculous saves, now works as an adviser to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

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