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Porto-bound Casillas' best Real Madrid moments

With Real Madrid confirming Iker Casillas is to join Porto, UEFA.com's Joseph Walker looks at some of the keeper's many highlights from his long association with his home-town club.

Iker Casillas lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy after Madrid's win in the 2014 final
Iker Casillas lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy after Madrid's win in the 2014 final ©AFP/Getty Images

After 16 seasons between the sticks for Real Madrid, Iker Casillas is leaving the Santiago Bernabéu for Porto with 14 major club honours and a reputation as one of Spanish football's best ever keepers.

Hailing Casillas's "incredible history of victories", the Portuguese giants have sealed a two-year deal, with the option of a third year, to bring the three-time UEFA Champions League winner to the Estádio do Dragão, where he will almost certainly increase his tally of 150 games in Europe's top club competition and usurp Xavi Hernández (151) at the head of the all-time appearance list.

In a statement issued on Saturday night, the Merengues said: "For Real Madrid today is a day for thanks and acknowledgement. Today leaving the club and starting a new footballing chapter is the best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football. We are a 113-year-old club and Casillas has worn our shirt for 25 of those years. His attitude during the 725 games played in that shirt shows the way for those who dream of forming part of this side."

As the 34-year-old bids the Spanish capital goodbye, UEFA.com's Joseph Walker looks at five of his best Madrid moments.

1. Real Madrid debut – 12 September 1999
With Bodo Illgner injured, then Madrid coach John Toshack made the bold call of handing Casillas his first senior start at the age of 18 years and 115 days. If making your bow for one of the world's most famous teams was not daunting enough, the fact the contest was at Athletic Club's old San Mamés – a notoriously difficult ground for visiting sides – made it that bit harder. Nevertheless, Casillas performed admirably as the Merengues drew 2-2.

2. First Champions League triumph
Blooded by Toshack, Casillas blossomed under future national team coach Vicente del Bosque. After replacing the Welshman in November 1999 for his second spell in charge, Del Bosque made Casillas first choice, a show of faith repaid when the young shot-stopper helped Madrid claim their eighth European Cup in 2000. Casillas kept a clean sheet against Valencia CF four days after his 19th birthday as the capital outfit won the all-Liga decider 3-0 in Paris.

©Getty Images

3. Glasgow super sub
Casillas endured a difficult 2001/02, losing his place to César Sánchez in February, so was among the substitutes for the UEFA Champions League final against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Glasgow. However, with just over 20 minutes left and Madrid leading 2-1, Sánchez fell awkwardly and was replaced by the 20-year-old, who made fine saves from successive corners as Dimitar Berbatov twice managed to evade detection in the dying seconds. It was a pivotal moment in the custodian's career and one that contributed to cementing his No1 status for the foreseeable future.

4. Captain for club and country
Having taken the armband from Raúl González ahead of Spain's triumphant UEFA EURO 2008 campaign, Casillas followed suit at club level in summer 2010 after the forward's move to FC Schalke 04. Skipper Casillas became a symbol for club and country, missing only one match as Madrid landed their most recent Liga title in 2011/12 with a record 100 points. After a testing 2012/13 in which he was ousted by Diego López – a scenario that continued throughout the 2013/14 Liga season – Casillas played every game of the Merengues' European campaign en route to their first UEFA Champions League final in 12 years.

5. La Décima
It seemed Madrid's wait for their coveted tenth continental crown would go on after Diego Godín put Club Atlético de Madrid ahead in the first half of the 2014 Lisbon decider. With the match in added time, Sergio Ramos headed in to break Rojiblancos hearts and force extra time, where Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a 4-1 victory and, more importantly, 'La Décima' for the Whites. "This is so important, even more so than the World Cup," Casillas said after lifting the trophy. "It has been so long in coming. Ten is a round number, a perfect number."