Saturday, 12 September 2020

LaLiga History on this day: Casillas debut; Ronaldo on fire

On This Day in LaLiga History - Casillas debut; Ronaldo on fire

 12 September 1999 – Casillas determination clear from the very beginning

The date of 12 September found its place in Real Madrid’s annals in 1999, when Iker Casillas became the youngest goalkeeper in LaLiga history, at 18 years and 115 days, as he made his LaLiga debut at San Mames against Athletic Bilbao.

Having pulled on his gloves at short notice when first choice Bodo Illgner was injured, Casillas showed impressive character and reflexes in a 2-2 draw, although he afterwards lamented that he should really have saved Julen Guerrero’s goal for the Basques.

Such determination drove ‘San Iker’ on to soon establish himself as first choice keeper for club and country, and he won multiple trophies including five LaLiga titles before leaving Madrid in summer 2015.

12 September 2015 – Cristiano Ronaldo hits five to break Raul’s record

16 years after Iker’s debut, and a few weeks after the keeper left the Bernabeu, 12 September returned to Real Madrid’s record books. Casillas’ longtime teammate Cristiano Ronaldo had not scored in his first four club and country outings of 2015/16, but then found the net five times in a 6-0 victory for Rafa Benitez’s Real Madrid team at RCD Espanyol.

The selection of typically expert finishes took Ronaldo to 231 goals in 203 La Liga appearances for Los Blancos, passing the club's previous domestic league record scorer Raul Gonzalez in fewer than half the games played. The insatiable Portuguese superstar went on to raise that record to 311 goals scored in 292 LaLiga games, while also winning two LaLiga titles before leaving for Juventus in summer 2019.

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