Iker Casillas claimed his Twitter account was hacked on Sunday following a tweet earlier in the day which said he is gay.
A now deleted tweet from the former Spanish international goalkeeper said: “I hope you respect me, I’m gay”, while also asking for respect following his announcement.
Among those to support Iker Casillas decision to reveal his sexuality was Barcelona legend Carles Puyol, whom he shared a heated rivalry with through his career. The former Barcelona and Spain centre-back tweeted “The time has come to tell our story Iker.”
However, with Iker Casillas having now deleted his tweet, he has come out and said: “Hacked account. Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”
Cuenta hackeada. Por suerte todo en orden. Disculpas a todos mis followers. Y por supuesto, más disculpas a la comunidad LGTB. 🙏
— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) October 9, 2022
While he has claimed he has been hacked, Spanish media are reporting that he posted this tweet due to rumours circulating about his love life.
This has caused outrage towards Casillas who has lost three million followers, with people unimpressed that he was joking around about an issue that is very serious for millions of people across the world.
For those struggling to come out when it comes to their sexuality, it would be viewed as hugely insulting.
Iker Casillas & Carles Puyol should be ashamed. Making a joke about coming out is not only pathetic & sickening but it fuels homophobia. It achieves exactly the opposite of what we want football to be: a safe, inclusive & respectful space. Lost all respect for both players.
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) October 9, 2022
@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing. It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful pic.twitter.com/Yp88aQyyTV
— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) October 9, 2022
The last few years have been difficult for the World Cup winner, who had to retire from football in 2020 after suffering a heart attack in training with Porto in May 2019.
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In March 2021, Casillas and his wife, sports journalist Sara Carbonero separated after five years of marriage, with the couple having two children.
In a statement made by Casillas at the time, he said: “Both Sara and I feel enormously proud of the family we are and of having shared a love that has filled us with happiness during all our years together.
"Today our love as a couple takes us different but not distant paths since we’ll continue together in the marvellous task of continuing to be devoted parents as we have been up until now.”
The World Cup winner is currently in an assistant role with Real Madrid’s foundation, having won five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles.
Update: Carles Puyol has since issued an apology regarding the incident
Me he equivocado. Perdón por una broma torpe sin ninguna mala intención y absolutamente fuera de lugar. Entiendo que puede haber herido sensibilidades. Todo mi respeto y apoyo a la comunidad LGTBIQA+
— Carles Puyol (@Carles5puyol) October 9, 2022
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