Iker Casillas has said a tweet announcing he was gay, which was published from his personal Twitter account, was the result of a hack.
The former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper posted the update to his 10m followers on Sunday afternoon.
‘Hacked account,’ Casillas posted. ‘Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.’
Around 30 minutes earlier, the original post – which read ‘I hope you respect me, I’m gay’ – had been deleted from the account.
Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol had initially responded to Casillas’ tweet.
Translated, it read: “It’s time to tell them about us”.
But Puyol also subsequently removed his post following Casillas’ deletion.
Casillas is considered a legend of Spanish football after being capped 167 for his country and making over 700 appearance for Real Madrid.
In May, Blackpool’s Jake Daniels became the UK’s first male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990. (Sky Sports)