Casillas wipes away the tears as he waves goodbye to the Bernabeu

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PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

Iker Casillas bid an emotional farewell to Real Madrid on Sunday ahead of his departure to Porto.

The goalkeeper brought a 25-year career with the ten-time European Champions to a close over the weekend by penning a two-year deal with the Portuguese giants.

Casillas took to the Bernabeu press room on Sunday lunchtime to bid farewell to his boyhood club.

Here is his farewell speech in full, from the official Real Madrid website:

“First of all, good afternoon everyone, thank you for being here and accompanying me at such a special time. Today I have come to this stadium, this great stadium, to say goodbye to you all, particularly to the Real Madrid supporters.

“As you all know, as of yesterday I am no longer a Real Madrid player and will now be joining Porto. The decision to join Porto boils down to two important reasons. Firstly, the excitement conveyed to me by the president, the director Antero and the manager Julen, who I have know for some time and, above all else, by the whole team.

“And secondly, for the affection shown to me since it more or less became known that Portugal was to be my destination. And in that respect, they have won me over and that makes me very happy. I will do my all not to let them down and will fight as hard as I can to win as many titles as possible with my new team. For that, thank you Porto for the faith you have shown me.

“And now I would like to address the Real Madrid supporters. After 25 years of defending the crest of the world’s greatest football team, a difficult day has arrived in my sporting career. It is time to say goodbye to this institution which has given me everything. I seems like only yesterday when as a nine-year-old I put on the Real Madrid jersey for the first time and my dream came true. During all this time we have suffered, laughed, cried and celebrated together. I have always felt supported and very loved, during both the good times as well as during bad times.

“This club has not only taught me to be an athlete, but it has also shaped me as a person, it has helped me grow, instilling in me the values its crest represents: respect, camaraderie, commitment and, above all else, humility. I have always tried to take these values with me wherever I’ve travelled to represent Real Madrid.

“Today I would also like to remember all the team-mates I have worked with during each of the seasons I have been here. Over the course of these years we have experienced unique moments together. These team-mates are like family to me and we have cried tears of joy and sadness together.

“I am leaving behind great friends but I know that wherever I go I will always be able to contact them, and likewise they will be able to get in touch me. I also want to remember all the trainers I have worked under, beginning with those I had when I started out in the local tournament with the Losada team. From Mezquita, may you rest in peace, as it was you who got me started with the Real Madrid under-10 seven-a-side team, all the way to my last manager, Carlo Ancelotti. I remember them all because I learned so much from them.

“And their technical teams, who for me also played a huge role in my development and my career as I was able to be part of Real Madrid and become a football player. They all gave me advice and transmitted wisdom during the dark moments. We shared a lot of happy times together, and that’s without taking their amble experience and professionalism into account. I have learned a lot from every one of them.

“Of course I also thank all the staff, those behind the scenes, who day in day out are part of Real Madrid and always helped me solve whatever problem I was having. They may not be seen but they’re always there.

“All my love goes to my parents and my whole family, who through their great efforts and concern for me have helped me along this road, which has been a difficult but incredible experience.

“And above all else, thanks to my wife and son, because they will be by my side sharing each moment of this exciting new phase of my life with me.

“And these last few lines are dedicated especially for all of you, the Real Madrid supporters, who know no boundaries. Thank you for the unconditional support you have given me since I joined the team at 18 years of age, for allowing me to lift each cup, celebrate each triumph, be your captain for the last five years. For being with me during the good times and the bad. For holding out your hand so I could lift myself up.

“There’s a phrase I’ve often used in interviews and I’m going to use again: above being remembered for being a good or a bad goalkeeper, all I would like is for people to remember me as a good person. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I’ll never be able to forget you and you can be sure that wherever I end up I’ll continue to shout: Hala Madrid!”.

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