World Cup winning Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from professional football on Tuesday, August 4. His former club Real Madrid CF where he spent most of professional career, paid tribute.

Casillas suffered a heart attack in April 2019 during training with Portuguese side FC Porto. He has since recovered but played more of a management role with the club for the entire 2019-2020 season.

In a lengthy letter shared on his Twitter page, Casillas bid farewell to professional football while at the same time showing appreciation for those who joined his journey as one of the most successful professional footballers of all time.

"The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you. I think I can say, without hesitation, that it has been the path and the dream destination," he said.

Lo importante es el camino que recorres y la gente que te acompaña, no el destino al que te lleva, porque eso con trabajo y esfuerzo, llega solo y creo que puedo decir, sin dudar, que ha sido el camino y el destino soñado #Grac1as

— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) August 4, 2020

Before joining Porto in 2015, Casillas rose up from the Real Madrid youth academy which he joined at the age of nine. He climbed up the ranks to become captain and the club's best goalkeeper in its 118-year illustrious history.

He stayed with Real Madrid for 25 years and played 725 matches for the first team. During this time, he won a total of 19 titles including 3 UEFA Champions League trophies, 3 Club World Cups, 2 European Super Cups, 5 Spanish La Liga titles, 2 Copas del Rey and 4 Spanish Super Cups.

During his brief time with Porto, he also enjoyed massive success winning 2 Portuguese Leagues, 1 Cup and 1 Supercup.

Casillas is also one of the most successful players for Spain. In 167 caps, he led the team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup title sandwiched with back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012. He was also part of a winning Under-20 Spanish World Cup team.

In an official statement, Real Madrid said, "Iker Casillas belongs at the heart of Real Madrid and will do so forever. Real Madrid would like to convey to him and his family the love of our club, which is the club of his life."

The club also shared a lengthy video showing their former captain's career highlights including some of his miraculous saves. Scenes from his numerous trophy celebrations throughout his career are also featured:

â›” Saves. Lots of saves.
🏆 Trophies. Lots of trophies.
🧤 @IkerCasillas#RealMadrid | #Grac1as

— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 4, 2020
Iker Casillas made his debut for Real Madrid in 1999 Getty