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the Iker book – part V

May 24, 2012
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Chapter eight of Iker Casillas: La Humildad del Campeón is entitled “Iker with his gloves off,” and talks about how “the other Iker, the Iker without gloves, is as he appears: natural, simple, humble, reserved, humane, good-natured.”  We get to know Iker through the memories of his father, mother, brother and friends, and the chapter concludes with Iker speaking about himself.

Doesn’t José Luis look just like Iker in the photo on the left?  The resemblance is so strong!  Now I see why Iker’s mother liked him with a beard…

Memories of his father: José Luis Casillas on Iker.

It would have been normal for Iker to have been born in Bilbao, which is where Mari Carmen and I were living.  But she wanted to give birth in Madrid.  She’s a madrileña and her land was calling to her.  I had lived a more nomadic life because my father was also a civil servant and he was often moved around.  When I was eight, we arrived in Bilbao and I was there until I was 19.  When I started working, I was first sent to Madrid, then to Alcorcón and then to Bilbao.  We were there from 1979 to 1983.  We got married in November of 1980.

On May 11, 1981, the two of us traveled to Madrid in our Seat 124 [a car].  Five days later, I returned to Bilbao.  I would return for the birth.  Iker came into the world on a Wednesday at 14:50h.  In June, I returned to Madrid on vacation.  Mari Carmen spent two months with her family between Madrid and Navalacruz before returning definitively to Bilbao.  Iker lived there for a little over a year, until July 1982.  When he and Mari Carmen returned to Madrid, they went to live with her parents, although we already had an apartment in Móstoles, which we purchased in 1980.  In June of 1983, we all moved into our house because I was sent to work in Madrid, concretely on C/ Guzmán el Bueno.

His mother should know better because she spent the whole day with him, but the truth is Iker was not a very troublesome child.  I only remember one accident in Bilbao, when he was eight or nine months old.  He was with Óscar, our neighbor’s son, who was older than him.  They were supposed to be playing together, and Iker got his finger caught in the door.  In the hospital, they sewed him up and he didn’t even notice.  At the age of eight months, he was already walking, which is why he’s bowlegged.  He was very agile, and when he jumped on the bed, we got scared.

I’ve always liked football.  From the time I was small, 12-13 years in age, I would go to San Mamés almost every weekend.  I was there in 1977 for the UEFA Cup final against Juventus.  I was so disappointed.  I can recite that team from memory: Iríbar, Lasa, Guisasola, Alexanco, Escalza, Villar, Irureta, Amorrortu, Churruca, Dani and Rojo.  Fernando, Dani’s brother, worked with me.  I supported Athletic.  When Iker was small, I would almost always take him to the Bernabéu when Athletic came to play.  The first game that he saw in the stadium was against Athletic, and his debut also came against Athletic, but in San Mamés.  I was a big fan of Arconada.  My friends there didn’t understand how I could support Athletic and like Arconada so much [he played for Real Sociedad].

In 1994 or 1995, we saw a secondhand pair of Adidas boots being offered for a good price, around 1,000 pesetas.  Of course they were used, but they were in good condition and we bought them because the ones he had were already falling apart.  The bad thing is that when we went to buy them, they were a 45 in size and Iker was a 43.  He had been very excited about them, but of course they were too big for him and so I told him to put on two or three pairs of socks.  And that’s what he did.

The same things occurred with his gloves.  He wore out all of them, which is normal, since he played on dirt fields.  I had to go to the shoe repair man, who would sew leather patches onto the gloves to make them appear as if they were brand new.

On the day of Iker’s debut, we had gone to our hometown on vacation for its fiestas.  Iker told me not to tell anyone that he was going to play, but everyone found out really quickly.  There, Iker is just one more; they’ve all seen him grow up.  I watched the game in a bar in the main plaza.  I couldn’t believe it…

From the time he was in the alevines, I’ve always traveled to his tournaments and competitions whenever I could to be with him.  It was a continuation of those afternoons spent at the Ciudad Deportiva.  It was also a way to get to know the other parents, to visit new cites… I’ve always traveled more with Madrid than with the national team.  I was with the national team in the Eurocopa in Portugal, the 2006 World Cup, in the 2008 Eurocopa and the South Africa World Cup.

I’ve never seen Iker lose a final on the professional level.  I was there watching the two Champions League finals, the European Supercup in Monaco which we won, the Eurocopa, the World Cup, the Copa del Rey final in Valencia… a few days earlier, I had been with Xavi in the Bernabéu for the Liga game.  I told him that in Valencia we were going to win because whenever I went to watch the game live, Iker won.  He responded that it was the same situation for his brother: whenever he went to a final, Barça won.  I remembered this after the game.  Iker’s father was able to beat Xavi’s brother.

When Iker was younger, he collected shirts, well, he exchanged them and I kept them for him.  For some years, I also kept everything that was written about him.  I cut out newspaper and magazine articles, I collected the citations from the federation for games, I filmed some of his games… I stopped doing that because I no longer had time.  There was just too many things about him…

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Nora permalink
    May 24, 2012 16:35

    How sweet! I think this has been one of my favourite parts of Iker’s biography so far. And you’re right, Iker looks exactly like his father!

  2. manie permalink
    May 24, 2012 16:44

    This is so sweet. Thanks Una for translating this.

  3. Sara permalink
    May 24, 2012 23:09

    What a cute baby he was! That photo on the left, he really looks like his dad.
    I loved what his father said , I hope he attends all of his son’s important games:)
    Iker’s parents have always seemed humble ,polite and caring to me. They have done a great job raising Iker and Unai.

  4. ant permalink
    May 25, 2012 05:10

    aww those pictures are adorable! especially the one on the left, look at his little face :3

  5. Jenny permalink
    May 25, 2012 06:06

    May I please suggest that Papa Casillas please attend all finals from now on?

  6. lover_iker permalink
    May 25, 2012 10:38

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow my heart stop when i see this oh my God iker and his father are copy and paste:D i love his father like iker because they have wonderful resemblance

  7. lover_iker permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:27

    dear Una, do you have decision that put iker’s mother and iker’s brother memories??? and i’m so excited till know iker speaking about himself.pls put them.thank you sooooooooo much

  8. Ally permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:42

    He does look a lot like his father! Same perfect profile ^^
    Lovely anecdotes from a proud father, thank you for translating!

  9. Pipita quédate permalink
    May 25, 2012 16:23

    Wonderful Una! You are great, keep translate- go girl!
    Another thing, during the celebrations at the balcony Gonzalo said to Xabi: ” Cancherito. Xabi eres un canchero” what does that mean? Please I don´t understand Spanish very much and this was very difficult for me to understand. What is canchero?
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Cosi permalink
    May 26, 2012 23:45

    ah what an amazing book so far!! thanks so much for translating, Una!! And Iker does look so much like his dad!

  11. May 27, 2012 05:22

    Oh, wow! I really thought that was Iker in the picture! My first thought when I saw the picture (and didn’t read the article yet) was “Who’s baby is Iker holding?” Now we know where he got his perfect profile from!!

  12. raooya permalink
    May 27, 2012 12:14

    Iker’s father was able to beat Xavi’s brother … Haha troll baba iker great great IV My love for iker become bigger and bigger.
    Thanx una

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