By Josh Fordham
Iker Casillas appeared to come out as gay on Twitter, before then deleting his message.
The Real Madrid and Spain legend put out a short post on the social media platform on Sunday afternoon.
It read: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay.”
Although fierce rivals on the pitch, Barcelona legend Carlos Puyol appeared to tweet a message of support. He said: “The time has come to tell our story, Iker.”
However, Spanish publication AS claim he has posted this as a way for the tabloids to stop writing about his personal life.
The former goalkeeper then subsequently deleted the tweet.
Casillas confirmed he had split from his wife – sports journalist Sara Carbonero – in March 2021 after five years of marriage, they have two children together.
Last month, he rubbished rumours that he was dating Gerard Pique’s former partner Shakira.
He shared images of news articles on Instagram and said: “Touch your nose. OMG [Oh My God].”
The 41-year-old played 725 times for Real Madrid, winning 19 trophies in his time at the Bernabeu, which also included three Champions League titles.
He left the club in 2015 to join Porto, playing 156 times for the Portuguese club.
In May 2019, he suffered a heart attack in training and ultimately led to his retirement as a player.
He was also part of the Spain side that won back-to-back European Championships and the World Cup, winning 167 caps.