Casillas and Xavi awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit

Ciudad del Fútbol 17 Jul 2015
Spain’s Sports Council have approved a decision to award Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernández with the Royal Order of Sports Merit Grand Cross

Spain internationals Iker Casillas and Xavi Hérnandez have been honored with 'the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit' for their outstanding work for the development of sport in general and football in particular, on the national and international level.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, announced the winners and praised both for their brilliant CVs: "they are both two footballers who have excelled in the practice of sport, in the advancement of their profession and physical education”.

The accolade – Spain’s highest distinction to a sportsperson – is conceded each year in recognition of distinguished service and achievement in sports, in teaching, management, organisation, promotion and development of physical education and sports.

Both Spanish internationals have won two European Cups and one World Cup for Spain.

Casillas has left Real Madrid for Porto after 25 years with the club, while midfielder Xavi’s 24-year career at Barcelona has ended after he agreed to join Qatari side Al Sadd.