Iker Casillas is retired but still manages to draw a lot of eyeballs.
On Sunday afternoon, the Spaniard – who won the World Cup and three Champions League titles, broke the internet with a 7 word tweet.
He announced to his 10million followers on Twitter – ‘I hope you respect me, I’m gay.’
Almost immediately, former Barcelona captain Puyol responded to his compatriot’s tweet implying they were in a secret relationship, saying: ‘It’s time to tell our story, Iker.’
The tweets inevitably caused an uproar.
There were positive messages of support for coming out publicly.
Unfortunately, there was a backlash in the form of homophobic responses.
However, there was twist in the tale!
Both Casillas and Puyol deleted their tweets within the hour as the news was still making headlines around the world.
They had both played a joke!
Allow us to explain.
Apparently, the tweets were meant to be ‘sarcastic’.
Recently, there have been a huge number of articles on Casillas’ love life.
According to rumours, the former goalkeeper of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team is in a relationship with 30-year-old actress, Alejandra Onieva.
The ‘gay’ admission was Casillas’ way of mocking these rumours.
Casillas has since claimed that he was hacked, tweeting: ‘Hacked account. Luckily everything is in order. Apologies to all my followers and of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.’
Puyol has yet to claim he was also hacked.
Onieva has refused to confirm or deny these allegations, so far.
However, the joke was not well received by many people.
Josh Cavallo, who became the first openly gay male professional player in the world when he revealed his sexuality just under a year ago, slammed Casillas.
“Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing,” tweeted the Australian footballer as it became apparent the pair’s tweets had not been sincere.
‘It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ people have to go through.”
“To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful.”