Spain’s World Cup winning captain Iker Casillas, 37, suffered a heart attack while training with his Portuguese club Porto on Wednesday, but later tweeted from hospital to say he was “feeling strong”.
Casillas played 167 times for Spain and famously captained them to their first ever World Cup win in 2010.
He also won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships with the national side and his exploits earned him the nickname ‘Saint Iker’ as well as making him one of Spain’s best known personalities.
Porto said Casillas had suffered an “acute” heart attack during training, but that he was stable in hospital and “the heart problem has been resolved”.
Casillas later tweeted: “Everything under control here, it was a big scare but I’m feeling strong. Thanks a lot for all your messages and your support.”
Madrid wished their former captain a full recovery, saying:
“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 …
“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.”
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.”
Barcelona star, Lionel Messi, also wished his former rival speedy recovery in his post-match instagram post, saying:
“Happy with the result, but we still must play in Anfield, where Liverpool, a great team, will put pressure on us. The most crucial part of the season is coming and we must be more united than ever. Finally, I want to send hugs to Casillas and wish him a quick recovery.”