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Víctor Valdés has penned an emotionally touching message to Iker Casillas that calls for him to retire from football after he had a heart attack in a training session with Porto.
Valdés and Casillas had a heated rivalry during their time at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, but the whole footballing world has been sending their wave of support to the 37-year-old former Los Blancos shot-stopper.
Now, the former Manchester United and Middlesbrough player took to Instagram to share a message with Casillas, saying that he should prioritise his wellbeing over a prolonged career in football.
Thanks to a translation from Diario AS, posted below is the Barça shot-stopper's letter.
"Dear Iker, dear friend.
"In the world of soccer, some choose to be a goalkeeper while others have to learn with all of their defects and virtues.
"You are and always will be one of those who was born with a glove on either hand. The idol that has these innate qualities that the rest of us have to reach for. An idol that the other less capable focus on, dreaming that one day they can lift, like you, the trophy that recognises you as the best, our world champion with the number one on his back.
"You are, and forever will be the motivational force that those between the posts dream to be, someone able to [fly] higher and for longer than all of us together at once. Turning the unthinkable into reality. Executing every action close to our reach, with this magnificent save. Saves that only you can do on chosen ground for the chosen few or those touched with the 'magic wand.'
"My friend, it is inevitable to get emotional writing these lines remembering what I lived, admiring with a certain nostalgia those great battles with you in front of me that made me value everything much more, and without you knowing it and for what you gave me in each training session. A whole country acclaimed you.
"Dear Iker, dear friend,
"As goalkeepers, we accept without fear and with the values through which we identify ourselves, the danger that life decides to bring close to our areas and on this occasion it's more than one simple save. Your heart, that continues beating for the sake of those who dream of reaching what you once were, as a friend and as a rival in times gone by, I encourage you to be that white lion once again but this time on the sideline.
"It is your legacy that defines you, and this is already history.
"Always in my thoughts, from keeper to keeper.
SPORTbible reported earlier this week that Casillas might not play football again after sources in Porto suggested that the World Cup-winning Spaniard might 'not return to action and that his playing days are finished.'
Get well soon, Casillas!
Featured Image Credit: PA
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