- Iker Casillas has been hailed by Barcelona legend Lionel Messi following his retirement
- Lionel Messi described the Spaniard as an opponent who was difficult to face
- Casillas won three Champions League titles with Real Madrid before he left
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Lionel Messi has praised former Real Madrid goalie Iker Casillas for his incredible performances during his active playing days before he retired from football.
Casillas, who was one of the best goalkeepers in the world, retired from football at the age of 39 after winning all the titles any player can dream of.
During his time at Real Madrid, Casillas won the Spanish La Liga titles five times, three Champions League titles at Camp Nou.
To crown it all, Casillas also won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
Before leaving Real Madrid, Casillas played 725 games for Los Blancos and met Lionel Messi many times in the El Clasico.
''Not only because he was a benchmark in La Liga, but also because he managed to win everything internationally.
''You are a spectacular goalkeeper and it was really hard to have you as an opponent.
''But looking back, I also think that it was a pretty nice rivalry that made us have to outdo ourselves every time we faced each other,'' Lionel Messi explained according to Daily Mail.
After leaving Real Madrid, Casillas went on to play for Porto in 2015 before he suffered a heart attack in May last year during training.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Casillas, the legendary Spanish and Real Madrid goalkeeper, announced his retirement from football at the age of 39 after making 725 professional appearances between the sticks.
Casillas called it quits after a glittering career winning the Fifa World Cup, two European championships with the national team and the UEFA Champions league three times with Los Blancos.
Although the legend had heart-related complications in May last year, he managed to return to action a couple of months later.
His former club Real Madrid was quick to react as they paid tribute to the man who spent more than 16 seasons at the club between 1999 and 2015.
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