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for me, he is Real Madrid

December 2, 2011

There was so much to write about Iker’s book presentation that I’ve made it into its own post, and it’s also been updated with more images and words!

Iker’s book presentation was held on Thursday afternoon at the Bernabéu.  As mentioned before, the book, entitled Iker Casillas. La humildad del campeón, is a look back at his career.  (I’m hoping there will be a lot more of his career to come, so I don’t know why they decided to come out with a book at this point.  Perhaps it’s just Volume I and there will be a Volume II, Volume III with all the successes to come this season and several after, as well as in the 2012 Eurocopa and 2014 World Cup…).

Anyway, on hand were FP, Alfredo di Stéfano, the book’s author Enrique Ortego, as well as the mayors of Móstoles and Navalcruz.  Also present were members of Iker’s family, teammates Esteban Granero, José Callejón and Antonio Adán, former teammates such as Bodo Illgner, plus some that he had at the cadete and juvenil levels, and former coaches such as Luis Aragonés.  And Iker was looking pretty good!  Though El Pirata needs a haircut, I love that he was wearing a shirt monogrammed with his initials.

Iker gave a little speech during the presentation (he read from a written speech), saying, “it’s a great honor to be in my stadium, in my house, accompanied by my two families, my natural one and the madridistas.  This book talks about my sporting life, about my memories.  When Enrique told me he wanted to do this, I got scared.  I didn’t understand why anyone would want to write a book about me.  I understand that these books should look back on the career of a player when he finishes and I still have some time left.  In addition, the media gives me merit for my saves, and so it’s excessive to see them written down in such an impressive work.”

Iker, living up to the book’s title!

Iker also joked with Ortego, telling him that he was very “annoying” for chasing his friends and family around for interviews, but “when looking back at my life, I got emotional and it allowed me to remember marvelous moments that I had almost forgotten.”

Those are tears!

He concluded, with a little tremble in his voice, by saying, “I want to thank my family, my father José Luis, my mother María del Carmen and my brother Unai.   Without them, I can assure you that I wouldn’t be here today [flips to the next page].  Thank you for accompanying me on this special day which for me has a very special value.  I will always remember it as… [he messes up here, smiles, takes a drink of water and the audience claps].  It doesn’t bother me, I’m quite sentimental, and all of Spain already knows that… [Jajaja!!!!]  Thank you for accompanying me on this special day which for me has a very special value.  I will always remember it as one of my fondest memories.”

Unai looks like Dani Martín!!!!  And his profile is pretty nice too!

Meanwhile, Iker’s mother, María del Carmen Fernández, revealed that the advice she has given her son the most was “to always be humble.”  She said, “I always advised him to stay humble, but he’s the one who should take care to do that.”  I loved that she also mentioned all of the teammates that Iker has had over the years who didn’t make it: “I want to remember all those teammates who were with him and who didn’t make it.  It’s really a pity.”  Now we can see where Iker gets his heart from!  We also learned this little anecdote: to get Iker to eat sardines (as Iker didn’t like to eat as a child), his mother had to tell him that Arconada’s mother had told Iker to eat his fish, so that he would grow up strong.  Arconada was Iker’s dad’s idol.  Jajajaja!

Several of the attendees had stories to share about Iker, such as Bodo Illgner.  He said, “I was Real Madrid’s goalkeeper when Iker was promoted to the first team.  I had the luck of seeing him as a kid and now as a star.  In that moment, no one knew that he was going to get to where he is now, but he always had a lot of talent and personality.  He comes from a good family and this humbleness that has accompanied him during his entire sporting career has been important.”  One of the anecdotes in the book involves Bodo: “there are many that I can’t reveal, but one that I can is that one day, I was missing some gloves and I thought Iker or Bizarri had taken them from my locker.  Iker, who was only 17, got scared when I asked him.  In the end, it turned out that Paco Buyo had given my gloves to some of the goalkeepers that he was training on one of the youth teams.”

Meanwhile, Unai spoke about his brother to Deportes Cope.  He said the event and the book were both emotional.  When asked what it’s like being the brother of Iker Casillas, Unai replied that he handles it well, because he has his own life, with his university studies and his job, but that it’s also nice to be the brother of someone who is so loved in Spain.  And “I speak well of him when I speak with someone who doesn’t know him, and I defend him when he’s attacked.”  Unai also revealed that he’s still playing football, with a team in Boadilla, and very happy with them, even though the team is not doing well, and that football is his “hobby.”

As for humility, Unai says Iker has been like that his entire life.  Unai, meanwhile has been a Barcelona fan his entire life: “I like to watch Madrid play, I support Iker but I’m a fan of Barça…  I don’t hide that.  Everyone who knows me knows that I’ve been a fan of Barcelona since I was small.”  He says the day that Iker made him the happiest while playing football was “the day he won the Champions in Glasgow, I was there with my father.  It’s because of all the things he went through during the season.”

Have a listen here – Unai sounds a lot like Iker, both in his voice and the way he talks!  Both he and Iker sometimes sound like the words are just tumbling out of them without end.

The book is worth buying just for all the baby pictures of Iker that come with it!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    December 2, 2011 11:32

    For me2, I can’t wait to get the book!if anything I will get for the cover only!

    I never paid close attention to Jose iker’s dad, but he looks exactly like him, I still have some unfinished business with Unai being a barc fan :p, but I will let it slide for the sake of him being this handsome and for the fact he is so like his brother. His mom is the cutest isn’t she?

    As for pirata, he starting to look like a sheep adorable sheep all fluffy but need a hair cut, where is Ramos though I thought he would be presented.

  2. superfan permalink
    December 2, 2011 12:01

    If only my level of Spanish language can already help me read and understand the book, I’d would definitely buy it! But hopefully, there would be more memorable moments in Iker’s life.

    Iker is such a sweetheart. He’s always so humble despite being the best in the world and having won everything there is to win in football. No wonder he’s so blessed. And I am so happy he’s captain of Real Madrid. 🙂 He’s really perfect.

    And I can’t understand how or why Unai is a Barcelona fan. I mean, Iker is his brother. Captain of Real Madrid, it’s the only club he’s represented, so I can’t wrap my mind around it. Seriously.

    • April 28, 2012 21:04

      me too, i cannot imagine why on earth he chose to support barcelona when your beloved brother is the CAPTAIN of Real Madrid. I am not even a player of Real Madrid yet when my brother told me he supports barca, I told him I will disown him.

  3. December 2, 2011 13:32

    I think I might have to buy it. It might take me a while to get through since my Spanish is elementary at best, but I’m going to try anyway!

  4. December 2, 2011 13:49

    I love my captain so much.

    Also he’s really a saint isn’t he? His brother is a barfa fan and his girlfriend is an Alti fan. San Iker deserves his name.

  5. amouria permalink
    December 2, 2011 14:42

    I love his struggle in this one:

    So cute and sincere..

  6. Alyssa permalink
    December 2, 2011 14:48

    I am SO happy that he’s ours 🙂

  7. Súne permalink
    December 2, 2011 14:50

    Iker should be Real Madrid for all Madristas!

  8. kiki permalink
    December 2, 2011 15:48

    Yes, I agree Una, San Iker IS Real Madrid! What a wonderful Captain & gentleman. I love how he is so (rightly) famous & honored & yet he is such a “regular” man. His humility & humanity are at the forefront even as he leads one of the greatest generations of footballers of all time & uplifts people across the world.

    I love his manly tears, he seems very strong and sensitive at the same time, what a delightful combination. The whole world appreciates your emotional nature Iker, not just Spain. We all love the combo platter of tears & swearing fiercely as you order everyone around! “Gutiiiiiiiiiii”, “Xabiiiiii” & look perfect while doing so. *sigh*

    I agree that I want his career to continue (forever) for a very long time, but if there are adorable baby pictures & with such an illustrious career I’m sure there is room for many books.

    It’s so nice to see his family, they seem lovely. Regarding Unai (wow, so good-looking & that’s not surprising), I wish him every happiness. His big brother casts a long shadow… His Mama is great, telling him that story about Arconada expresses the quiet genius of Mama’s across the world.

    Seems our Iker was tearing up not too long ago with La Roja, he’s so special! 🙂

    I say, let Pirata have his long hair, I think he just needs to express his individuality & open mind which is one of the things we love about our hipster! Plus I know you ladies wouldn’t mind twirling your fingers through those curls! haha, GOTCHA!

    Thank you for sharing these heartwarming moments, Una!

  9. December 2, 2011 16:40

    OOOOH. I’d need to buy that one (and maybe learn Spanish finally to be able to read the original version)

    Thanks for the news and pics, Una!

    Unai is indeed handsome. I wonder that it must be a bit difficult for him to be the brother of such a famous brother (especially when he likes football and let’s be honest – very few people can achieve the status that Iker has in football), but he seems to be handling it all well.

  10. emily permalink
    December 2, 2011 18:09

    The second gif is deadly. I have work to do and if I continue watching it, nothing will get done and my husband will come home and find me dead on the floor with guests coming…

    El PIrata is either preparing for his personal audience with the Maharishi, or he’s channeling George Harrison.

  11. Marysol Alcalde permalink
    December 2, 2011 18:29

    Great post I really love reading about this side of the players life. I just hope that I am able to get the book in the States. I just found out that this same author also wrote a book about Raul and I have been looking for that book in the States and have yet to find it 😦 Just wanted to say again thanks for the post I loved it.

  12. aayush neupane permalink
    December 2, 2011 20:40

    living in a family where one sibling is the captain of los blancos and another is a big barça fan I wonder how its like during el clasico.

  13. December 3, 2011 06:40

    I cant imagine a Real Madrid without him. He’s the face of the team.

  14. December 3, 2011 08:54

    Fantastic post about a fantastic man. Thank you for sharing! And its blowing my mind how much Unai sounds like Iker!

  15. Happy permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:14

    I can’t wait to read Iker’s book!!! And Iker’s mother really teach him so well, stay humble, which is Iker always do, but I’m so curious that who are those not make it!!

  16. December 4, 2011 02:50

    i’m smiling so much my cheeks hurt. his parents are lovely, and unai seems to handle it all with grace and the same humility as his big brother.

    for me, he is real madrid, too, and i hope he remains as our capi for a long, long time. i just ADORE him. there’s really nothing more to say. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. December 4, 2011 12:22

    Una, would you know if this book is coming out in English? I would really, really like to get a copy if it did.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      December 7, 2011 10:45

      I don’t think so, none of the other ones in the series have been translated.

    • Sinead permalink
      February 5, 2014 16:24

      I am currently working on translating this book for my thesis. I am interested in following up and seeing if I could work with a publishing company to publish it. Hopefully!

  18. Gigi permalink
    December 5, 2011 01:35

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I just love Iker more every time I read things like this, it really does show how humble and deserving he is of all the praise he receives. I wish this book would be published in English but I’m still tempted to get it just for the pictures. Again, thanks for this post, you really capture the beauty and emotion of the event.

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