A legendary Spain international goalkeeper has become the 15th winner of the Golden Foot Award and has left his mark in Monaco as a result.
Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been presented with the 2017 Golden Foot award at a ceremony at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
The award, which is designed to recognize the long-standing achievements of players in terms of both their skills and personality, began in 2003, when Roberto Baggio, then of Brescia, picked up the prize.
Winners, who must be at least 28 and still playing, have the honour of leaving a permanent footprint – or in Casillas’ case handprint – on Monaco’s ‘Champions Promenade’ along the seafront.
Reacting to his win, which came after he was voted for by fans after being placed on a shortlist by journalists, Casillas tweeted, “Very happy with the #GoldenFoot2017. Thank you for all the support.”
The 36-year-old beat off competition from nine other players, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez to claim the award.
Casillas has a lengthy list of honours to his name after a glorious playing career that has seen him win three Champions Leagues, five Spanish league titles, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.
After picking up the award, the ex-Madrid goalkeeper, who currently plies his trade for Porto, said, “The Champions League that we won in 2000, the club’s eighth European Cup, is one of the most special moments in my career.”
“Then there was also the World Cup in South Africa. What’s more, during my time at Real Madrid, I was fortunate enough to play alongside Zidane, a player with tremendous class, everyone enjoyed the way he played the game. Watching him on the ball was a thing of beauty.”
While Casillas received recognition off the field this week, on the field, he faces a battle to regain his starting berth with Porto after head coach Sergio Conceicao admitted that he had been dropped due to his poor attitude in training.