Iker Casillas is a contemporary king. Having won it all for both club and country, he landed at the 2018 World Cup to support Spain and between games headed to the Adidas Creator Base in Moscow. Grabbing a slice of time with a master, we got his take on what it's like to represent your country at the very highest level and the feeling of winning a World Cup.

Can you tell us who those creative players who inspired you growing up?

"One that I remember with great respect Zidane in 1998, another one is Lothar Matthäus in 1990. Both fantastic players who changed the game."

When you come to the World Cup now, does it bring back those emotions you’ve experienced? How much do you want to be out on the pitch?

"Yeah… It’s different because you are a little bit more like a supporter, watching how such an important tournament, probably the most important tournament of football worldwide takes place. But you must learn from these experiences, I think that it’s good to learn and seeing everything from a different point of view."

How important was it to swap shirts with another player for you in all those major tournaments you played in?

"Well, I think that is an act of respect, cordiality, an act of fair play, right? Above the fact of being rivals, there is a part of friends and friendship, of greeting the opposition so that there is respect, to set an example towards children."

What do you remember of the party after winning the World Cup Final in South Africa what is it all a blur?

"It was fantastic, it was curious because our party was in the Soccer City Stadium (FNB Stadium) and then on the plane, 12 hours from South Africa to Spain, and then we kept going in Spain around the streets… Everywhere. Two days it was the party."

Casillas Soccerbible_0000__J0A9763.jpg
Casillas Soccerbible_0001__J0A9726.jpg

People talk about being focused, naturally, but what really goes through your head during those big moments in a game?

"In that moment what you need to think is in a little space of time, what can a player do. And what I personally thought when we go back to the World Cup final in South Africa is that when Robben one on one with me, he was going to go to one side, because he was really fast, so I tried to dive to anticipate that move he decided to strike towards the goal and I was lucky enough to be able to get my foot out and get the ball out. Things like that stay in your memory."

And when it comes to the creative side of the game, is it something that you see more now in terms of style from off the pitch?

"I think that the game is changing a lot, it has got nothing to do the football from 20 years ago when I started to play as the current game. Now you look for the keeper to be more involved, you look for the touch, having the ball, not before. Back in the day was not like that, it was less important where the ball went… I think that football has evolved."

The tournament so far has brought many talking points, the host nation are arguably the stand out team - what have you thought of Russia and their performances?

"Well I think that Russia has achieved to win two matches so far, they proved to be a strong team, and I think that next round will be harder. They have of coursed accomplished the minimum that was to go through this stage."

Casillas Soccerbible_0009__J0A9540.jpg
Casillas Soccerbible_0010__J0A9524.jpg

Of those big names, who do you think will shine at this World Cup?

"I don’t think we can talk about what players are the stars right now, they will raise when the time is right, when they are playing a life or death match."

Now that you have moved into the roll of Spain supporter, rather than on the pitch as a player what emotions do you get when you watch them?

"Well it’s difficult because I’m still playing football, so you keep thinking that you can help the team, but now what I do is to enjoy it as a supporter, as a fan. I like it when I see how Spain plays because I have many mates playing there now, with who I’ve lived incredible moments, and now it’s them the ones that can give the happiness to all the Spanish people."

We’ve seen so many fans turn out to see you at the adidas Creator Base today, how does it make you feel to see all these people in awe of you?

"I think that I am a very privileged person, as I played in a club like Real Madrid that is great, or even the greatest, I played in the Spanish National team and we won two Euros and a World Cup and even being in a theoretically smaller team than Real Madrid, people respect you."

"Seeing all these people, I really like it and it makes me happy to see all the kids that want to get the Spanish kit, because that means that they grew up with that, like I grew up with Germany in Italia 90 or Brasil in the USA 94 World Cup, I think that is something beautiful too that kids now have the Spanish jersey."

Casillas Soccerbible_0006__J0A9626.jpg
Casillas Soccerbible_0005__J0A9657.jpg

Read more World Cup interviews in '32/12' magazine by SoccerBible. Pick up the special 2018 Russia World Cup edition here.