for me, he is Real Madrid
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!