Iker Casillas: has ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper come out as gay? What he said, has Tweet been deleted, reaction

Ex-Spain international Iker Casillas made the announcement on social media - but has raised eyebrows

Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has claimed his account was hacked after posting “I’m gay” tweet.

The Champions League winner and World Cup winner made the announcement on social media on Sunday (9 October). But has since deleted the tweet, amid reports that it may have been a “sarcastic” response to the Spanish press. It comes following his retirement from football in 2020.

Following Casillas announcement, there had been an outpouring of support on social media. If the statement had proved to be genuine, he would be the most high profile footballer to have come out as gay in recent times.

Jake Daniels, a footballer for Blackpool, came out as gay earlier in 2022. Daniels is the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer.

Here is all you need to know about Iker Casillas announcement:

What did Casillas say on social media?

The former Real Madrid keeper tweeted to his 9M followers: “Espero que me respeten: soy gay. #felizdomingo.” It roughly translated to: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay. #happySunday.”

Further clarification on the announcement has not yet been made.

Is the announcement genuine?

Iker Casillas has deleted the tweet in which he appeared to come out as gay. It comes as AS reported that the statement was ‘sarcastic’.

Tancredi Palmeri tweeted: “According to AS, Casillas and Puyol were just being sarcastic after the gossip on Casillas girlfriends. Ouch…” Adding: “ The wide wide spectrum that currently Casillas is covering between the most respected and disrespected act. And with the same action…”

The response from Barcelona and Spain defender Carlos Puyol had also raised eyebrows. He replied to Casillas’ tweet with: “Es el momento de contar lo nuestro, Iker.” It translated to: “It’s time to tell our story, Iker” followed by heart and kissing emojis.

Casillas has since claimed that his account was hacked and has since deleted the initial tweet. He explained: “Hacked account. Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”

How have people responded?

There has been an outpouring of support following Casillas’ tweet, in which he appeared to come out as gay, as people praise him.

One person wrote: “This will hopefully be huge for men’s football – a player of his calibre and standing being courageous enough to share this. It’s a pity football wasn’t in a place that he felt comfortable doing this while during his playing days.” Another responded: “And we are proud of you, @IkerCasillas. Live your life to its fullest.”

Spain's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas made an error for one of Chile's goals that proved fatal for his side's hopes of defending the World Cup. Picture: GettySpain's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas made an error for one of Chile's goals that proved fatal for his side's hopes of defending the World Cup. Picture: Getty
Spain's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas made an error for one of Chile's goals that proved fatal for his side's hopes of defending the World Cup. Picture: Getty

However not all responses were not as tolerant. One person criticised some of the replies to Casillas’ tweet: “Just seeing replies and quote tweets make you realise why more footballers do not come out. Find it mental that we’re in 2022 and people still find issue with someone else being homosexual.”

Author and football writer, Musa Okwonga said: “Sincerely, to everyone on Football Twitter who has just unleashed a torrent of homophobia this afternoon: f*** you.”

Is Iker Casillas married?

The retired goalkeeper is not currently married. He was in a long term relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero from 2009 until 2021.

The couple had two children and were married in March 2016, but announced they would be separating in 2021.

Who is Jake Daniels?

17-year old Jake Daniels is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward for EFL Championship club Blackpool.

Daniels, a Blackpool youth product since the age of seven, joined the U18s in 2021 and was crowned Blackpool’s youth team player of the season in 2020–21 after scoring 30 goals.

In February 2022, he signed his first professional contract with Blackpool, and the following month, he joined Northern Premier League side Bamber Bridge on loan for the remainder of the season.

On 7 May 2022, he made his senior Blackpool debut, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute in a 5–0 Championship loss to Peterborough United.

Daniels stated on the Blackpool club website that he was inspired to announce his sexuality by other athletes, and cited fellow footballer Josh Cavallo, Thetford Town manager Matt Morton, and diver Tom Daley as helping him come out.

Daniels is the first British professional football player to come out as gay whie still playing since Justin Fashanu in 1990.