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Real Madrid legend Casillas issues apology after deleting a tweet saying he is gay

15:49 BST 09/10/2022
Casillas Real Madrid
Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has apologised for deleting a tweet in which he said “I’m gay” while confirming that his account was hacked.
  • Message on social media
  • Sent out to 9.6m followers
  • Tweet then hastily deleted

WHAT HAPPENED? The 41-year-old former goalkeeper, who made 725 appearances for Madrid after graduating from their youth system, took to social media on Sunday to send a message to his 9.6 million followers. Casillas’ actions sparked instant debate, with questions asked of whether the statement was true or a response to recent rumours regarding his personal life.

WHAT THEY SAID: Casillas’ initial tweet read: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay. #happysunday”

The ex-Madrid net-minder deleted the tweet before confirming his account was hacked in an apologetic post to his followers. ''Hacked account. Luckily everything in order,'' said Casillas. ''Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Former Spain and Barcelona defender Carles Puyol also apologised after responding to the tweet. "I have made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke which had no bad intention and was totally out of place," he wrote in a post on Twitter. "I understand that I may have hurt someone's feelings. All my respect and support for the LGBTQ+ community."

Reports in Spain claimed that Casillas was responding to speculation suggesting that he is dating Alejandra Onieva, having recently been linked with Melyssa Pinto, Rocio Osorno and Gerard Pique’s ex-wife, Shakira. Casillas’ love life has dominated gossip columns since the breakdown of his marriage to Sara Carbonero.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? World Cup winner Casillas retired from football in August 2020 on the back of suffering a heart attack during his time at Porto, and was appointed the deputy to the Real Madrid Foundation CEO later that year.