Iker Casillas, Spain’s World Cup-winning captain, sent out a tweet on Sunday saying that he is gay. The Real Madrid legend, who has won UEFA Champions League titles with Los Blancos, said in his post, “Espero que me respeten: soy gay”, which translates into, “I hope you respect me: I’m gay”. However, he later deleted the tweet.

Check out a picture of the tweet right here:

Casillas’ Spain teammate and former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, tweeted in reply, “Es el momento de contar lo nuestro, Iker”, which translates into, “It’s time to tell our story, Iker”, followed by two emojis. 

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It is not yet clear why the legendary goalkeeper sent out this tweet or why he deleted it later. Casillas, 41, is among a select few players who have achieved the distinction of playing in more than 1,000 professional football matches.

Despite his tweet, it is well-known that the football legend has been in romantic relationships with women over the years. He used to date Spanish actress Eva Gonzalez from 2004 to 2008. He was also involved in a relationship with Sara Carbonero, a sports journalist, from 2009 to 2021. He famously kissed Carbonero while giving her an interview post Spain’s World Cup triumph in 2010. The former couple are parents to two sons- Martin and Lucas.

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The legendary goalkeeper had moved to Porto after his stint at Real Madrid. In 2019, during a practice session with Porto, Casillas suffered a heart attack and had to be hospitalized. He later posted a picture of himself on Twitter to let his fans know that he was feeling better. 

Casillas formally announced his retirement from football on August 4, 2020. In December the same year, he was appointed the Real Madrid Foundation CEO.