1. Who is this guy?
Iker Casillas is Spain’s captain, starting goalkeeper and is on the verge of setting the record for most appearances with the Spanish national team. At 29-years-old, he will play in his 111th international match on Sunday, 15 short of the nation’s record. Though he is coming off a year that saw his supremacy within the Spanish game debated for the first time in years, Casillas is still considered amongst the best players in the world at his position.
2. How has he done in this tournament?
Although he has had his shakey moments, Casillas has only allowed two goals and has saved Spain a number of times, most noticably in the last two rounds, where hs made saves on German Toni Kroos and Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz that other good goalkeepers may have failed to keep out of their net.
3. What’s his role going to be on Sunday?
Spain habitually hogs the ball, and with the Dutch also having some issues in generating attacks, Casillas could have another quiet day in goal. However, he has been asked to save Spain in each of the last two matches, and with the individual talent on the Netherlands’ team, Casillas is likely going to have to make a big save on one of the Dutch stars at some point on Sunday.
4. Which opponent will be his closest on-field match-up?
For goalkeepers, you could say they’re matched-up against the whole team or no individual players (or both, depending on your inclination), but two sights Casillas will want to avoid on Sunday: the dancing Jabulani ball coming off Arjen Robben’s left foot; Wesley Sneijder within 26 yards with a dead ball chance on goal (should he get to take it).