Iker Casillas has reflected on being awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport today alongside Xavi Hernandez, and admits his surprise in winning.
The 31-year-old was announced to have won the award jointly with Barcelona’s captain Xavi today and has since given a lengthy interview to Real Madrid’s official website in reaction.
“The truth is that all happened very quickly from the proposal made by Sepp Blatter to today, but I'm very happy,” he reflected.
“There are some awards that seem unachievable and that you never think you could get to win. But the work that you do throughout your sporting career could mean that you get to be nominated and to get this award I think is a great thing that gives me a lot of personal satisfaction.”
The Spain captain looked to understand why he and Xavi may have received it.
“It's been a few years in which the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry has grown a lot, which I think is good for football, the sport and the fans, always in moderation of course.
“But that has also contributed to the Spanish national team. These have been the golden years, hopefully it will be repeated, although it will be very difficult.
“It is an award for which we are the two prominent faces from each team, and from the national team because of being the captains. But it is a prize that there are many people behind – teammates at our clubs and the national team, fans … it's a very nice award to win and great to be receiving it.
“Football is a team sport that is always difficult to stand out individually, but there have been a lot of prizes and recognition. It’s a professional and personal relationship more than 15 years long. We have grown from being children to teenagers and now we have become men together. It is a reward I look at with a lot love and with many memories and many experiences and I think it's a cause for happiness.”
Casillas was also given space to reflect on his charity work.
“I've always said. I would like to be remembered as Iker the person rather than Iker the good or bad goalkeeper. I think I have a very privileged life in general, I do what I like doing and a lot of people enjoy watching and you see that they are happy every time you win a title.
“It is an opportunity we have to take to be a role model for the fans and to give something back working in children’s training camps, working with NGOs and worthy causes. That’s why I set up my foundation a few months ago so that I can be more aware of things.
“As a society we are in debt and what better way than to give back than in this way using what we have got through football.”
The ‘keeper also looked to add his view on Cristiano Ronaldo’s declaration at the weekend that he is unhappy at Real Madrid.
“I understand that it is difficult for people to understand the situation that we face as players. But we are people just like everyone else and all have our own worries.
“We have family and friends and they are all important.”