Iker Casillas has claimed his Twitter account was hacked after the former goalkeeper appeared to come out as gay.
The Real Madrid and Spain legend put out a short post on the social media platform on Sunday afternoon, but soon deleted it.
It read: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay.”
Barcelona legend Carlos Puyol then replied to the tweet with the message: “The time has come to tell our story, Iker.”
However, Spanish publication AS claimed Casillas’ post was written as a joke to stop the tabloids from writing and spreading rumours about his personal life.
The tweet was live for more than an hour before it was then deleted, with the retired star later saying his account had been hacked.
Puyol also deleted his post shortly afterwards.
He wrote: “Hacked account. Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”
Casillas’ love life has been the subject of great interest with the tabloid press in his native Spain following his split from his wife in March 2021.
The World Cup and two-time European Championship winner was married to sports journalist Sara Carbonero for five years and they have two children together.
Last month, he rubbished rumours that he was dating Gerard Pique’s former partner Shakira.
He shared images of news articles on Instagram and said: “Touch your nose. OMG [Oh My God].”
The 41-year-old played 725 times for Real Madrid, winning 19 trophies in his time at the Bernabeu, which also included three Champions League titles.
He left the club in 2015 to join Porto, playing 156 times for the Portuguese club.
In May 2019, he suffered a heart attack in training and ultimately led to his retirement as a player.
He was also part of the Spain side that won back-to-back European Championships and the World Cup, winning 167 caps.