Leo Messi's elegant message to the recently retired Iker Casillas

The two were often fierce rivals on the pitch, for Real Madrid and Barça respectively, but there was nothing but respect off it

Messi, una década de soberanía ante la barrera rival | Perform

There have been floods of messages from the footballing world towards Iker Casillas after the goalkeeper announced his retirement from football. Yet one that stands out from the rest is Lionel Messi's words towards the former Real Madrid stopper.

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Via the Spanish newspaper AS, Messi said: "Iker retires today but he's been a part of football's history for a long time. Not only for being a leading example in LaLiga, but for winning everything at international level too."

 Messi elogió a Casillas | EFE

The Argentine forward didn't stop there. "You are an amazing goalkeeper and the truth is it was difficult to have you as an opponent. But looking at it another way, I think it was a nice rivalry which helped each of us become better with every contest."

Casillas himself has said on numerous occasions how much he values Messi. "The best striker I've ever faced? Messi. I've come up against him a lot and I don't have any doubts (he's the best). I've had some good and bad moments against him," he said not long after leaving Madrid.

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