Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has confirmed he is withdrawing from the presidential elections for the Spanish FA.
The 39-year-old confirmed the news in a statement released on his Twitter account on Monday, claiming that the “exceptional social, economic and health situation facing our country” had made him reconsider his position.
Casillas was due to stand against the current incumbent Luis Rubiales in this year’s elections with a report in Cadena Cope from April claiming he was on course to win by 80 votes to 59.
Spain has been one of the hardest hit countries from the coronavirus pandemic in Europe with over 27,000 deaths with Casillas claiming the situation meant the elections were no longer a priority for him.
Casillas is set to draw a close upon his illustrious playing career but remain in football, with a Cadena Ser recently citing a survey showing fans displaying their support for the goalkeeper with 94% of the votes in a hypothetical candidacy.
Seven regional federations are said to have promised their votes to Casillas – Madrid, Castilla y León, Castilla la Mancha, Galicia, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Andalucía.
In May last year, the goalkeeper fell ill during training with Porto and was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
Whilst that was a success and Casillas was discharged five days later, it had appeared unlikely that he would return to first-team football but despite training this season, he has not played any first-team games.
Casillas is one of the most decorated players in Spain’s history, playing over 700 games for Madrid before joining Porto in 2015.
He won three Champions Leagues with the capital giants, as well as two European Championships and a World Cup in his 167 caps for La Roja.