FC Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has thanked Liverpool supporters for the reception he received on what is expected to be his final Champions League outing.
The 36-year-old, who was benched for Porto’s 5-0 home defeat in the first-leg, is expected to leave the Portuguese giants in summer as he nears the end of his illustrious career.
As the Spaniard walked towards the Kop end to start the second half, the crowd showed their appreciation for the legendary goalkeeper, who has won three Champions League and five La Liga titles with Real Madrid.
“I would like to thank the Liverpool fans for that lovely detail,” Casillas was quoted by the Liverpool ECHO.
“Applauding a player from the opposite team does not happen very often.”
The veteran shot-stopper produced a world-class save to deny a Danny Ings’ header that helped Porto escape with a draw.
“You could see that this was a different game to the first leg,” he added. “We wanted to give a better impression of ourselves – not just for us, but for the fans here and those back in Porto.
“We were good in defence and in attack and were just missing that goal that would have made this an even better result.”
Asked if the game against Liverpool was his last in Champions League football, Casillas told AS:
“If this was my Champions League farewell, it hasn’t been a bad night at all – at this fantastic stadium, keeping a clean sheet… but no one knows what the future holds”.
“My objective is to win the league with Porto because this group of players deserves to lift the trophy. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season”.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his team easing into their first quarter-final appearance of the Champions League since the defeat at the hands of Chelsea nine years ago.
“It feels really good, to be honest,” said Klopp.
“I cannot feel what people feel about waiting so long but I know about it. The last eight is cool. I am a little bit satisfied. It was time we showed up again. There is good development at Liverpool at the moment but, if you don’t show up in a competition like the Champions League, then nobody will realise it. It’s done, it’s good – now let’s carry on.”
He also posted the following image with a caption: Respect “ Never walk alone”
After we defeated Porto 5-0 in the first leg, there never even came a moment we would not qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Let’s continue marching ahead in this elite competition.