It's a tweet that confuses more than it enlightens. In a few words, former Spain international goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced on Twitter that he was gay. "I hope you respect me: I'm gay.
His former teammate Carles Puyol responded with a heart emoji. "It's time to tell our story," commented the former defender, causing astonishment. His tweet response sounds like Casillas and Puyol are a couple. But only a short time later Casilla's tweet was gone again.
There are now speculations that the supposed coming out wasn't one at all. Since Casilla's divorce from TV presenter Sara Carbonero last year, Spanish newspapers have regularly written about Casilla's relationship status. His alleged current girlfriend: actress Alejandra Onieva. According to the Spanish newspaper "AS", to which the "Daily Mail" refers, Casilla's tweet is only a response to various gossip reports, but not a real coming out.
Just a month ago, Casillas had to deny having a relationship with Shakira, singer and wife of his teammate Gerard Piqué. After initial enthusiasm, Casilla's supposed coming out on Twitter caused astonished reactions, to put it mildly. "Top action by Iker Casillas. He did a great service to professionals who really struggle with coming out every day," writes a horrified user. "It seems to have been just another failed 'joke'. That does more harm than good," comments another.
At a time when homosexuality in football is still a taboo subject, an ironic coming out does not go down well.
Update: Casillas has now explained his tweet. On the short message service, he explains that he had been hacked. "The account was hacked. Thankfully everything is fine. My apologies to all my followers. And of course apologies to the LGBT community as well."
Sources: "Daily Mail" / Twitter
"I'm gay": Ex-US bachelor Colton Underwood celebrates coming out on television