This isn’t a post about subscription boxes or spoilers or anything remotely related to the subscription box world/industry. This is a post about football and injustice and one of the best goddamn goalkeeper the world will ever see. This is a post about how Florentino Perez has mistreated and abused Iker Casillas. This is a post about heartbreak.
You see those jerseys up there? Those are all mine. Every single one of those jerseys is an Iker Casillas jersey. Who is Iker Casillas? Iker Casillas has been with Real Madrid from when he was 9 years old. Iker Casillas has won all major club and national championship titles. He captained Spain to back-to-back Euro championships in 2008 and 2012; he captained Spain to their first ever World Cup in 2010. He has won the Champions League with Real Madrid three times; including La Decimajust this past season. Iker Casillas is known as San Iker (Saint Iker) in Spain. And Iker Casillas is… was the captain and goalkeeper of Real Madrid until 3AM PST earlier today, when he gave his press conference alone, and broke down in tears. I can’t even begin to articulate my anger, disappointment, and grief that surrounds these last few days and how it all ended with him being forced out of his childhood club.
The fact that there are “fans” out there celebrating his departure sickens me. The fact that there are people who still doubt his loyalty makes me wonder how selectively blind they can be. In a summer where so many greats have left their clubs, Iker’s story was the most tragic.
And the truth is… there really is no equivalent story out there. There is no parallel in American sports that I can try use to illustrate what has happened to Iker Casillas because there is no athlete that has dedicated his entire life and career to a single club only to be stabbed in the back. The only thing remotely close to what happened is Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. The story of Iker Casillas and Real Madrid is a twisted version of The Giving Tree in which Iker gave and gave, loyal to the very end… and Real Madrid tossed him out with nothing more than a 10 minute press conference that ended his 25 year career with the club. And you know what Iker’s last words were? Hala Madrid. Even though they’ve dragged his name and his reputation through the mud, he still loves them. Even after everything, he still loves Real Madrid. Because that’s just the kind of person he is.
I think I’ll stop there because I’m not going to make any sense going forward. But I’ll leave you here with a poem that captures everything I couldn’t put into words, credit to thesilverwitch on Tumblr.
“wake up and kiss the rain.
the men will not mourn you. already, they have forgotten the scars you suffered for them, the riches you won and brought back with you to their humble homes, the glory you gave them asking only for their respect in return. they have forgotten how to shout your name with the fervor and devotion it deserves.
humanity is fickle. it wavers with too much ease. it bends according to whichever way the wind blows and you have always been to modest to change the elements. the times when men used to brandish your name as a sword in gruesome duels is long since gone. now they wouldn’t even touch you with a stick.
you have been mourning this loss for some time, preparing yourself for the final blow, and yet now that the ties have been cut and your heart has been severed, it hurts no less than it did before. you are a saint reduced to licking your own wounds. the fact that you are still able to hold your head high has nothing to do with pride and all to do with resilience: if you have made it this far, you will not perish now.
the men do not understand this. they do not cry for you. they do not know the storm that rages inside you. but who cares for men? they are known for their brevity, their immorality and their selfishness. no, no one should care for men. look instead to the skies for respite, for there is where the gods live and from there they have seen you fight, they have seen you bleed, they have seen you give everything and ask for so little. the gods have seen your rise and fall. they are the ones who mourn you now, their big fat tears drowning the earth.
kiss the rain, my saint. it kisses you.”
– only the gods mourn the death of a discarded saint. (g.g.)