MADRID: Iker Casillas’s 725-game stay with Real Madrid has ended with a transfer to Portugal’s Porto.

Casillas, 34, joined Madrid’s youth academy in 1990 and has been with the club ever since, winning 17 major honours in that time including the World Cup and European Championship twice with Spain.

Madrid saluted Casillas in a lengthy statement, referencing a “goodbye of a million sensations” and hailing him as their best-ever goalkeeper.

A statement said: “We have agreed the transfer to the Portuguese club for Iker Casillas. For Real Madrid today is a day, before and above all, for an acknowledgement.

“This will not be one of the best goalkeepers at our club – it is the best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football. This is therefore a goodbye of a million sensations, full of hopes, dreams, sacrifices and wins.

“Iker Casillas has made our shield even bigger. He was our captain and has defended our goal for 25 years.”

Casillas was a high-profile casualty of Jose Mourinho’s reign at Real but returned to the side after the Portuguese left for Chelsea, winning the Champions League for a third time in 2014.

“Iker has managed to become one of our main reference points and has earned the respect, admiration and affection of fans beyond colours and feelings,” the statement continued.

“Iker is gone, but his example remains. His behaviour during the 725 matches played with our shirt shows the way to those who dream of being part of this team.

“Thanks, Iker, for everything. Thanks for being a symbol of the best in our history. You belong forever to the heart of Real Madrid.”