Adelaide United star Josh Cavallo fumes at Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol over ‘beyond disrespectful’ act

Adelaide United star Cavallo, 22, bravely came out as gay last year, becoming the first active male professional to do so.

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He has now condemned both Casillas and Puyol on social media for their recent online antics, The Sun reports.

Cavallo, 22, wrote on his own Twitter account: “@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing.

“It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl 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.”

On Sunday, a tweet from retired Spanish stopper Casillas’ Twitter account said: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay. #happysunday.”

Barcelona legend Puyol responded to the tweet saying: “It’s time to tell our story, Iker.”

Casillas’ original tweet was then deleted, before the 41-year-old claimed he had been hacked and apologised to the LGBTQ+ community.

Puyol later apologised for his “clumsy joke” and also stated his support for the LGBTQ+ community.

He said: “I have made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and totally out of place.

“I understand that it may have hurt sensitivities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA+ community.”

Cavallo has blasted the pair for making “fun” of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Adelaide United left-back came out as gay in an emotional video on the club’s social media page last October.

In a courageous statement, Cavallo revealed he was “tired” of living a “double life”.

He said: “I’m a footballer and I’m gay. All I want to do is play football and be treated equally.

“I’m tired of trying to perform at the best of your ability and to live this double life, it’s exhausting.

“I thought that people would think of me differently when they found out. They would start treating me differently.

“They would start saying bad things about me or making fun out of me. That’s not the case. If anything, you would earn more respect from people.”

‘Lying to everyone’: Football world fumes

The deletions left fans unsure whether to take Casillas’ apparent announcement seriously. Spanish media reported he may have been jesting, having grown frustrated with speculation about his love life in the press.

The retired star was most recently linked to actress Alejandra Onieva, and before that, the Colombian singer Shakira.

Former Manchester United player Jonny Sharples labelled Casillas and Puyol’s tweets “pathetic”.

“All they’ve achieved is to embolden the homophobic attitudes that are already rife within football and within football fandom,” said Sharples.

“Slow progress is being made. Things like this make it even slower.”

“Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol should be ashamed,” said CBS football reporter Ben Jacobs.

“Making a joke about coming out is not only pathetic and sickening, but it fuels homophobia. It achieves exactly the opposite of what we want football to be: a safe, inclusive and respectful space. Lost all respect for both players.

“It normalises joking about being gay. And the horrible homophobic replies to the ‘announcement’ could easily put off those who are considering coming out in the game. Just a terrible and needless joke, thankfully now deleted.”

And later, responding to Casillas’ claim that he was hacked, former Valencia, Villareal and Liverpool player Jose Enrique accused him of “lying to everyone” instead of “apologising and recognising the mistake”.

Constant spotlight

Casillas split from his wife, sports journalist Sara Carbonero, last year, having been married to her for half a decade. They have two children together.

“Today our love as a couple takes different but not distant paths, since we’ll continue together in the marvellous task of continuing to be devoted parents, as we have been up until now,” he said in a statement at the time.

“This is a well-considered decision which we have taken through mutual agreement.”

He said both he and Carbonero felt “enormously proud” of their family and had “shared a love that has filled us with happiness during all our years together”.

“The respect, affection and friendship will remain forever,” Casillas said.

“Our priority is, through affection and compromise, to share the wellbeing and education of our children and protect them so they grow in a stable and healthy environment.

“With these words we ask you to respect our privacy in this moment of change.”

Carbonero posted the same statement on her own social media channels.

Late last month, Casillas was forced to deny speculation that he was dating Shakira, who had recently split from another Spanish footballer, Gerard Pique.

“Touch your nose. OMG,” he wrote on Instagram, having shared screenshots of articles spreading the rumour.

Shakira and Pique broke up in June, ending a 12-year relationship. Like Casillas and Carbonero, they have two children together.

Casillas’ long and decorated career included one World Cup, two Euro championships, five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles.

He made more than 500 appearances with Real Madrid between 1999 and 2015 before moving to the Portuguese club Porto, playing a further 116 games there. He also played 167 times for the Spanish national team.

He announced his retirement from professional football in August of 2020.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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