Spain’s World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been taken to hospital after suffering a cardiac incident at FC Porto’s training ground, Portuguese media reported.
The 37-year-old is reported to have had the incident during a training session with his current club FC Porto but is understood to be out of danger, according to BBC Sport. The club have said he is “stable” in hospital and remains under observation.
He was stable in hospital after suffering a heart attack in training, his club Porto said on Wednesday.
Casillas, who has 167 Spain caps and played more than 500 games for Real Madrid, suffered what the Portuguese club called an “acute myocardial infarction” in training on Wednesday.
The club’s statement on Wednesday afternoon said that “the training session was interrupted to provide assistance,” adding that Casillas was in a Porto hospital “well, stable and his heart problem solved.”
Portuguese media reported that Casillas had undergone surgery and that his season was over.
Porto are second in the Portuguese championship, just two points behind leaders Benfica, and face Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese Cup final on May 25.
Casillas had recently extended his contract with the Portuguese champions till 2020.
The prolonged deal for Casillas, who turns 38 in May, also includes an option for a further year, according to club president Jorge Pinto da Costa.
“It’s not easy to count on someone who’s almost 38 years old,” Casillas had said. “I’m grateful for the confidence shown in me and hope to finish my career at a club where I feel at home.”
Earlier Casillas, who also captained Spain to European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012, had said he would like to keep on playing until he is 40.
The news prompted an outpouring of concern from fans, clubs former team-mates and opponents.
“Courage my friend. I hope you recover quickly,” former Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo posted on Instagram.
Spain team-mate Gerard Pique tweeted: “Courage Iker, get well soon my friend!”
Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “Wishing @IkerCasillas a full and speedy recovery. One of the greats.”
Tennis star Rafael Nada and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, both Real Madrid fans, also sent their support.
“Real Madrid and its supporters wish to see their eternal captain recover as soon as possible and send him all the support of the world,” the club said.
Casillas joined Real before he turned 10 and played 16 seasons with the first team before moving to Porto in 2015.
The former Spain captain turns 38 later in May and recently extended his contract with Porto to next year with the option of an additional year.
In addition to a raft of domestic honours with Real and Porto, Casillas has won one World Cup, two European Championships and three Champions Leagues.
Casillas joins a growing list of players who have suffered heart attacks.
The most recent fatal attack came last week, when experienced Burundi international Papy Faty died after collapsing during an eSwatini(formerly Swaziland) league match, the Burundi football federation said on Friday.
The most high-profile recent case was former captain of Fiorentina Davide Astori, who died of a heart attack in his sleep prior to a Serie A match with Udinese in March 2018.
Casillas and his partner, Spanish journalist Sara Carbonero, have two sons: Martin (5) and Lucas (2).
(With AFP inputs)