Champions League football brings with it the chance to play some of the biggest clubs in world football. And with the biggest clubs, so too the biggest players.
There are few players more accomplished than former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Five La Liga titles. Three Champions League titles. And he was between the sticks for Spain’s unprecedented run of two European Championships and a World Cup win.
At 36-years-old, Casillas is past his prime, and last night was very likely his final Champions League performance. As he walked toward the Kop end to start the second half, the crowd showed their appreciation for this great footballer.
“I would like to thank the Liverpool fans for that lovely detail,” Casillas said after the match. “Applauding a player from the opposite team does not happen very often.”
Casillas produced a big save late in the second half from a goal-bound Danny Ings header that helped Porto escape with a draw.
His record at Anfield is truly a mixed bag. In his first appearance, he was on the receiving end of a 4-0 thrashing by the home side in 2009, and in 2014, he enjoyed a 3-0 win over a completely out-matched Reds.