Did We Just Witness Iker Casillas’s Final UEFA Champions League Match?

With Porto set to release Casillas at the end of the season, was today’s match against Liverpool his final in the UCL?

No player has appeared more in the UEFA Champions League than FC Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Today, the 36-year-old shot-stopper made his 167th appearance in the competition in Porto’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool (ultimately a 5-0 aggregate win for the Reds).  

Casillas also holds the Champions League clean sheet record, a mark he improved to 59 today.

With Porto having recently announced that Casillas will be released at the end of the season, many are predicting that this was the Spaniard’s final UCL game.

Of his 167 appearances in Europe’s elite club competition, 152 were made with Real Madrid. Casillas made his debut in the UCL as an 18-year-old against Olympiacos back in 1999. He won the title on three occasions with Real — in 2000, 2002 and 2014.

After being unceremoniously jettisoned by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Casillas joined Porto in 2015, and he’s since made 15 UCL appearances with the Portuguese giants. 

Iker Casillas Champions League appearances record

Did Casillas just say goodbye at Anfield? Photo: @Footballhub | Twitter

Although Casillas will now be fully focused on helping Porto secure their first Primeira Liga title since the 2012-13 season (they are five points clear of Benfica after 25 games), his time in Portugal is coming to a close. The club is cash-strapped, and Casillas (the highest paid player in the Primeira Liga) will be released at the end of the season to further cut costs. 

Casillas has since been linked with the Chicago Fire in MLS and Real Betis in La Liga, meaning his Champions League appearance record could come to a close at 167. 

The nearest active rival for the mark is Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his 148th UCL appearance today.