Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas claims his account was hacked after he appeared to come out as gay in a Twitter post following reports it was an apparent joke over personal life rumors, while Carles Puyol apologizes for “awkward joke ” which has been criticized
Iker Casillas has claimed his Twitter account was hacked after the former goalkeeper appeared to come out as gay.
The Real Madrid and Spain legend wrote a short post on the social media platform on Sunday afternoon, but it has since been deleted.
It read: “I hope you respect me: I am gay.”
Barcelona legend Carlos Puyol then responded to the tweet with the message: “The time has come to tell our story, Iker.”
However, the Spanish publication AS claimed that Casillas’ post was written as a joke to stop the tabloids from writing and spreading rumors about his personal life.
The tweet was live for more than an hour before it was then deleted, and the retired star later said his account had been hacked.
Puyol also deleted his post shortly afterwards.
He wrote: “Hacked account. Fortunately, everything is fine. Sorry to all my followers. And of course more apologies to the LGBT community.”
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Puyol later apologized for his actions, tweeting: I made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and completely out of place.
“I understand it may have hurt sensitivities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA+ community.”
Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo, who announced in October 2021 that he was gay, becoming the only active male professional footballer in one of the world’s top leagues to do so, labeled the messages “beyond disrespectful”.
Posted before Casillas claimed his account was hacked, the 22-year-old wrote: “@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun of coming out in football is disappointing.
“It’s a difficult journey that all LGBTQ+ people have to go through. Seeing my role models and legends in the game make fun of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful.”
In a statement, equality campaigners Stonewall UK said: “It is disappointing to see homophobic ‘jokes’ being made at the expense of LGBTQ+ players and fans.
“Whatever their intent, our words matter. At Stonewall, we will continue to fight for a better world where LGBTQ+ people can play the sport we love as ourselves.”
Casillas’ love life has been the subject of great interest in the tabloid press in his native Spain after he separated from his wife in March 2021.
The WC and two-time EC winner was married to sports journalist Sara Carbonero for five years and they have two children together.
In September, he rubbished rumors that he was dating Gerard Pique’s former partner Shakira.
Sharing photos of news articles on Instagram, he said: “Touch your nose. Oh my God [Oh My God].”
Casillas (41) played 725 times for Real Madrid, winning 19 trophies during 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 eventually led to his retirement as a player.
He was also part of the Spain team that won the European Championship and the World Cup, winning 167 caps.