Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas released from hospital after heart attack
Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been discharged from hospital, five days after suffering a heart attack, the club announced on Monday afternoon.
The 37-year-old Casillas fell ill during a practice session last Wednesday and underwent a catheterization after being rushed to the hospital.
Casillas said Monday he doesn't know "what the future holds," and that the most important thing was to be standing there talking about himself.
"A few days ago I went through a difficult situation, something that can happen to everyone at some point in their lives," Casillas told reporters after leaving hospital. "Fortunately, I'm well. I'm grateful because I feel I've been very lucky. I want to thank everyone who worried about me, I've felt very much loved. I can only come out of this situation with a smile.
"I want to thank those that helped me and that allowed for the heart attack not to be as severe, as the FC Porto medical team responded immediately. I want to thank those that sent messages of support and love. I was also treated very well at hospital. I feel much better and now it's a case of resting several weeks and a few months. I still don't know. But the most important thing is to be here.
"I don't know what the future will hold but the most important thing is to be here, to be able to talk and transmit to everyone how I feel. Thanks to everyone and see you soon."
Porto team doctor Nelson Pulga said last week he expected Casillas to make a full recovery but claimed it was too early to make an assessment on whether the veteran goalkeeper would return to play professionally.
Casillas' agent, Carlo Cutropia, said the player's biggest victory was surviving the heart attack.
Casillas signed a new contract with Porto in March that will run until June 2020, with an optional second year. He said at the time of signing that his wish was to end his career at the Dragao stadium.
Porto players visited Casillas in hospital on Friday while the club's fans paid tribute during Saturday's 4-0 home triumph over Aves, with the home supporters unveiling a banner in the first minute of the game containing a picture of the Spaniard with the words "Forca Iker!" (Strength Iker).
Casillas' former club, Real Madrid, and their fans, also remembered their former captain during Sunday's 3-2 home triumph over Villarreal.
Considered the best goalkeeper in Madrid's history, Casillas made 725 appearances for the Spanish giants during a 16-year career at the Bernabeu stadium. He helped Los Blancos win five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. He was also captain of the Spain squad that won two successive European Championships, in 2008 and 2012, and the World Cup in 2010.
Casillas is Spain's most-capped player with 167 appearances while he has made 176 Champions League appearances, the most of any player.
He joined Porto in the summer of 2015 on a free transfer.
The goalkeeper is married to the Spanish television journalist Sara Carbonero, with whom he has two children.