World Cup-winning Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas reassured fans late on Wednesday that he was recovering from the heart attack he suffered hours earlier during training at the FC Porto training ground.
“All under control here! A big scare but everything is intact. Thanks so much for all the messages and affection,” the 37-year-old Casillas wrote on Twitter.
The post included a photo of a smiling Casillas in his bed at CUF Hospital in Porto.
Dr Nelson Puga, Porto’s team physician, said that while Casillas was not likely to suffer lasting consequences from the heart attack, it was too soon to speculate on whether he will be able to continue playing.
“Fortunately, (the problem) was diagnosed quickly and the procedures came out well,” Puga said, describing Casillas as “fine, stable, with his characteristic good humour, calm and accompanied by his family”.
In his 16 years with Real Madrid, Casillas won the Champions League three times, La Liga five times, the Copa del Rey twice, the Spanish Super Cup four times and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.
He was just 19 when he hoisted the Champions League trophy for the first time in 2000, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.
With Porto, Casillas has won the 2017-2018 Primeira Liga crown and the 2018 Portugal Super Cup.
Casillas also leads all goalkeepers with 187 Champions League appearances and has posted the highest number of clean sheets in the tournament with 59.
Capped 167 times, Casillas was part of the Spain side that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
“Iker Casillas suffered an acute heart attack during this Wednesday’s training session,” Porto said in a statement on their official website.
“The session was quickly halted so medical assistance could be provided to the Porto goalkeeper, who is currently in the CUF Porto Hospital. Casillas is OK, stable, and the heart problem has been resolved.”
The club’s official Twitter account added: “Always together. Stay strong, Iker.”
His exploits for the national team earned him the nickname ‘Saint Iker’ and made him one of the best known personalities in Spain. He is married to television journalist Sara Carbonero, with whom he has two children.
Born in Mostoles, Madrid, Casillas came through Real’s academy and spent the majority of his career there until joining Porto in July 2015.
He is Real’s second all-time appearance maker, playing 725 matches between 1999 and 2015. His former teammate Raul made 741 appearances for Real.
Madrid wished their former captain a full recovery.
“Real Madrid would like to offer all our support to our beloved captain Iker Casillas. Throughout his professional career, he always overcame the hardest challenges in order to bring glory to our club,” Real said in a statement.
“He has taught us to never give up and has shown us numerous times that the best way to win is to remain as strong as possible when times are tough. Real Madrid and all our fans wish him a speedy recovery and send him all our support.”
A tweet on the Spain team’s official account said: “All the family at the national team and the Spanish football federation are with you Iker Casillas. Get well soon.”