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Iker Casillas handed liaison role at Porto during recovery

Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg

PORTO, PORTUGAL - APRIL 17: Iker Casillas of FC Porto looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Porto and Liverpool at Estadio do Dragao on April 17, 2019 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been handed a sort of hybrid coaching role as he continues to recover from the heart attack that hospitalized him for five days in May.

The club announced the change on Monday as Casillas told fans via an interview with Portuguese TV channel Porto Canal that he would serve as a liaison between the squad and managerial staff as he looks to figure out his next step.

“I’m going to do something different from what I’ve done before, which was being on the pitch,” Casillas said. “I will try to make a connection between the team and the club. The boss [Sergio Conceicao] told me that he wanted me to stay with them, close to the players, close to the youngsters because there would be lots of changes. I will try my best to help my teammates.”

The 38-year-old has been with Porto since moving from his boyhood club Real Madrid in 2015, and has served as the main starter in each of his four seasons there, save for a midseason spell on the bench in the 2017/18 campaign in which he earned the role back by mid-February. He has put together 156 appearances across all competitions for Porto during his time with the club.

Casillas has said he does not yet wish to retire, still hoping to add to his 881 first-team professional club appearances. Casillas accumulated 725 of those with Real Madrid, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga championships. He also captained the Spanish national team to back-to-back European championships and the 2010 World Cup title.

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