thumbnail Hello,

The 31-year-old Real Madrid goalkeeper made his debut in a friendly against Sweden on June 3 2000 and has now racked up 131 appearances for his country

SPAIN
GROUP C
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
P
PTS
 SPAIN 8 24
 CZECH REPUBLIC
8 13
 SCOTLAND 8 11
 LITHUANIA 8 5
 LIECHTENSTEIN 8 4

Spain captain Iker Casillas expressed his gratitude to Jose Antonio Camacho for handing him his first international cap when he was manager of La Roja 12 years ago.

The Real Madrid goalkeeper made his debut for his country on June 3, 2000 in a warm-up clash with Sweden ahead of that summer's European Championship.

The fact that the friendly against China in Seville on Sunday night was scheduled for the same date 12 years on had real significance for the World Cup winner.

"Today, June 3, 2012, is a special day for me," Casillas wrote on his Facebook profile. "It was on this day 12 years ago that I played my first international match for Spain.

"Interestingly, Camacho was then the coach of the national team, and Vicente Del Bosque the coach giving me regular football at Real Madrid.

"Well, after 12 years, we are meeting again on the same day: Camacho, Vicente Del Bosque and I.

"Camacho as coach of China, Del Bosque as Spain coach and me, as the kid who fulfilled a dream when he took to the field that day and who, luckily, is still here. Thank you Jose Antonio!!"

Casillas, who was an unused substitute at Euro 2000, broke the international wins record when he came on as a substitute for La Roja in Wednesday's 4-1 rout of South Korea - the the 95th victory he has participated in.

Who do you think should be Goal.com International's World Player of the Week this week? Leave your nomination in the comments section of THIS article between 10.00 every Sunday and 11.00CET every Monday. We will include some of the best suggestions in our winners piece.

Related

From the web