FwB #5: Iker ‘GQ Beard’ Casillas

Who was Spain's number one keeper before Iker? (see below for the answer!)

For a fear of risking FwB blog credibility, and the rath of the bearded men-above, FwB #5 will skirt with the GQ fashion beard-gade.

I’ve already found myself searching through an unoffical Cristiano Ronaldo forum, another blog entitled ‘Kickette’ (‘written by a small but perfectly formed crack team of female journalists, fashionistas and debauchery-chasing champagne swillers, Kickette is the number one authority on the web for all things fun, fluffy and footie-related’ – eurgh) and other less-than-worthy football sites, trying to find the best pictoral evidence of Spain’s number one.

And so, Iker Casillas finds himself on these hallowed pages. my own personal endeavours to find the best bearded footballers, complete with intruiging political backgrounds, cult following etc. etc., has alerted many of my friends to potential FwB candidates.

Upon watching the highlights of Real vs. Lyon on wednesday night, my housemate Josh remarked (something like, but not necessarily); ‘OH MY GOD, IKER CASILLAS HAS GROWN A BEARD, RAFAEL VAN DER VAART WAS BROUGHT UP BY GYPSIES, AND KARIM BENZEMA IS A MUSLIM!’. probably somewhat less enthusiastically (he has been made recently unemployed). and probably eliciting a less-than enthusiastic response from myself (‘meh, it’ll be no Breitner’).

Nevertheless, the first quote did perk my interest. because, for anyone who knows anything about Iker, he has been, for 8/9 years (bar a few occasions) both Real Madrid’s and Spain’s number one goalkeeper. His first start for Madrid coming in the 1998/99 season (the following season he became the youngest goalie to play in a Champions League Final), and his first start for the full Spanish side coming in 2000.

The young (he’s still only 28) lad’s played over 350 times for Real/100 times for Spain. that, in anyone’s books is a phenomenal record. and so, to hear of him sporting a beard is delightfully good news to say the least. means he’s all grown up eh? young lad still, but isn’t he a mature young lad? I hear all the Spanish soccer mums remarking.

So does this mean the modern footballer is reclaiming the beard from the stuffy, ball-winning, keep-your-head-down players of old? errr, maybe. Iker might look like he’s stepped out of the latest Hollywood rom-com, and onto the glossy pages of GQ magazine (to which he actually has, see below), but on the pitch he’s still pretty unorthodox. short sleeves, sub-6ft (short for a goalkeeper), captain from the very back, and maker of ridiculously acrobatic saves (wow, just wow to both http://tinyurl.com/yhmb5qy and http://tinyurl.com/yjrmg4q).

Does he need any more justification to adorn these pages? I think not. Iker, you may have surpassed Paco Buyo’s appearances record a year ago (see http://tinyurl.com/yhdkgd3), but only now have you elevated yourself above him in the facial hair stakes. Felicitaciones Iker, felicitaciones.

Well, Andoni Zubizarreta, and for a short while, Santiago Cañizares...

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