- Ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has told the story of his first Champions League call-up back in 1997 when he was just 16
- Casillas would eventually make his debut against Olympiakos in the Champions League in 1999, a game in which he became the youngest goalkeeper ever to feature in the competition at the time
- The celebrated Spanish goalkeeper will spend 25 years with Los Blancos, making 725 official appearances for the first team and winning 19 trophies - including three UCL titles
Retired Spanish shot-stopper Iker Casillas took a trip down memory lane to disclose how he earned his first UEFA Champions League call-up with Real Madrid.
The Real Madrid legend was then a 16-year-old student and with the club's academy, Castilla back in 1997.
He would receive the shock of his life when he was summoned to join the Real Madrid team for an away trip to Norway.
Casillas, 41, recounted how he swapped the classroom to sitting among the stars of the Spanish giants as a fledgling teenager.
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“It's a good anecdote because it was back in 1997 and I was in design class. We were talking about Real Madrid, about how they were doing at the time. It was late November, I think, and Real Madrid was struggling in the league. I think they were third or fourth and getting bad results, but things were going fine in the Champions League. They had an important game against Rosenborg coming up in Norway,” the former Madrid keeper told UEFA as quoted by Tribuna.
He continued: “At that point, the high-school principal came into the classroom. Everyone knew I played in Real Madrid's youth ranks. He used to talk to me about Real Madrid, just as I did with my friends. He said: ‘Iker, would you mind stepping outside for one second?"
He had to jump on the next available cab to link up with the Madrid squad featuring Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf and Raul Gonzalez for a Champions League game against Rosenborg.
“‘Sure,’ I replied. When I came out, he told me: ‘You'd better get in a taxi now and hurry to Barajas [airport] because Real Madrid just phoned your mum and she has called us. You need to hurry up because you have to go to Norway.
The 2010 World Cup winner compared his first call-up to the Real Madrid team to winning a lottery.
“[It felt] like winning the lottery. I remember that moment very well. I was 16 years old. I left school, went home, changed my clothes, got in a taxi to Barajas, and I met all the stars – everything you thought impossible when you were a kid.
“I went from being in class with my mate Julio to sitting at the same table as Fernando Morientes, Clarence Seedorf, Fernando Sanz, Predrag Mijatovic, Davor Suker and Raul Gonzalez. It was something magical and I will always remember that.”
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Casillas and Kaka to tour Ghana with the World Cup trophy
The tour will give football lovers the opportunity to get ready to taste the feeling of the world’s largest, most anticipated sporting event – the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
In hosting this momentous international tour, Coca-Cola and FIFA will invite fans to get up-close contact with the same trophy that is presented by FIFA to the winning country of the FIFA World Cup.
Source: Sports Brief News