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New 1000-club member Casillas can remember every game


Iker Casillas played his 1000th game as a professional last night as Porto were guests of Os Belenenses. It's a landmark figue - one reserved for only the greats of the game. He made his debut at San Mamés on 12 September 1999 and 18 years on, Casillas is still immersed in football, battling to win the Liga Nos woth Porto and in a sweet moment of his career. He joins illustrious company in football's 1000-club, where he joins the likes of Raúl, Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard, Paolo Maldini, Roberto Carlos and his old friend Gigi Buffon.

Iker, with Spain's U-17s
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Iker, with Spain's U-17s

Goalkeeping legends

Casillas and Buffon, two of the game's legendary keepers whose careers took off at more or less the same time and whose performances will live long in the memories of football fans forever in the history of the beautiful game. Other world class keepers figures in the ranking of players to have played 1000 or more matches - Peter Shilton, Rogério Ceni, Ray Clemence, Pat Jennings and David Seaman are in the list of 22 players to have hit four figures.

Safe hands. Iker Casillas with the World Cup.
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Safe hands. Iker Casillas with the World Cup.STEPHANE DE SAKUTINAFP

Key dates

Just like the man who, almost two decades ago, handed him his debut, John Toshack, Iker possesses a photographic memory and can recall every detail of every single game he has played, the score and who scored. Over the past few days, knowing that he was about to reach the 1000-game mark, he has been remembering his first outings as a pro - at San Mamés in LaLiga, in Athens in the Champions League and in Gothenburg with the national team.

Ovation at Anfield
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Vienna, Johannesburg...

He will also have been replaying those magical Champions League nights - those glorious finals in Paris, Glasgow and Lisbon; when he was made Spain captain and lifted the European championship trophy not just once, but twice - in 2008 and again in 2012. Or winning the greatest prize of all, the World Cup in 2010. The moment when Camacho called him up for full international duty for the first time with Spain is still as clear as though it happened yesterday; as is the pain of feeling injustice at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. He suffered, but gained maturity when Del Bosque relegated him to the subs' bench in 2002 after he thought he had locked down a regular place in the side at Real Madrid. As for Luis Aragonés, all of the memories are golden ones. So many colleagues, coaches and fans who have been with Iker on the journey during the past 19 seasons. He's still got years left in the game to add to his 1000 games. On 20 May Iker turns 37 and with his future plans to ponder. For now, congratulations and here's to many more games to come!

List of players to have played over 1000 games

1. Peter Shilton (1377)

2. Rogério Ceni (1234)

3. Ray Clemence (1114)

4. Roberto Carlos (1102)

4. Zanetti (1102)

6. Pat Jennings (1089)

7. Tony Ford (1080)

8. Djalma Santos (1065)

9. Alan Ball (1045)

10. Gianluigi Buffon (1044)

20: Casillas (1000)


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