Iker Casillas is the subject of concern in all corners of the soccer world.
The FIFA World Cup-winning goalkeeper suffered a heart attack Wednesday during a practice session, his club, FC Porto, announced.
“Casillas suffered an acute myocardial infarction during Wednesday morning training session held at the PortoGaia training centre in Olival,” Porto said in a statement, per The BBC. “The work session was promptly interrupted to provide assistance to the Porto goalkeeper, who is currently at the Hospital CUF Porto. Casillas is well, stable and his heart problem (is) solved.”
The 37-year-old underwent surgery, which almost certainly will rule him out for Porto’s final four games of the season and also might end his storied career.
Casillas captained Spain to European Championship victories in 2008 and 2012 and also led his country to glory in the 2010 World Cup. He spent the bulk of his club career with Real Madrid, with whom he won five La Liga (Spanish first division) and three UEFA Champions League titles between 1999 and 2015.
Real Madrid led the soccer world in offering words of encouragement and support to Casillas, its longtime and “beloved” captain.
“… Iker Casillas has shown us how to overcome the most incredible challenges throughout his professional career, adding significantly to our club’s successes. He’s shown us that giving up has no place in our way of life and demonstrated time and again that staying strong during the hardest of challenges is the only path to victory. …”
Casillas’ heart attack set social media ablaze, as players, teams, fans and pundits showered him with well-wishes. He has rivaled the likes of Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona for major trophies during his career, but the teams and many others united in support for him.
Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil are just two of Casillas’ former Real Madrid teammates who offered him support, while Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng sent love from afar.
The goalkeepers’ union came out in full force behind Casillas, as shot-stoppers past and present hailed one of the best to ever play their position.
News of Casillas’ heart attack resonated far outside of European, and soccer circles too.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/FIFATV