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Is Sara Carbonero OK? Real Madrid star Iker Casillas' ex-wife has emergency surgery to remove malignant tumor

Casillas offered to back out of his commentor job in World Cup but ultimately decided to stay in Qatar to 'give the situation the greatest normality'
UPDATED NOV 24, 2022
Casillas married Carbonero in 2016 after the birth of their second child but they announced their split in 2021 (Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Casillas married Carbonero in 2016 after the birth of their second child but they announced their split in 2021 (Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN: Sara Carbonero, the ex-wife of Real Madrid star Iker Casillas allegedly had an emergency procedure three years after receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis. According to reports, the journalist was hospitalized after going in for a normal check-up. Carbonero is famed for kissing the former international star during a post-match interview after Spain won the 2010 World Cup. Neither Casillas nor his ex-wife have yet to issue a formal statement.

She underwent emergency surgery which reportedly took place on November 21 at the University Hospital of Navarra in Madrid, according to the Spanish magazine Lecturas. The surgery was to remove a malignant ovarian tumor. According to the article, it wasn't immediately obvious what the issue was when Carbonero went in for a check up. In an exclusive, that has since been confirmed by numerous other Spanish publications, Lecturas reported, "After carrying out a check-up, the medical team decided Sara's admission was a matter of urgency." 


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"After being informed about what had happened, Casillas offered to renounce the World Cup to look after the children, a decision which ultimately wasn't taken to give the situation the greatest normality," the statement continued, referring to Casillas' choice to stay in Qatar where he is making his debut as an official sports commentator for Spanish state broadcaster RTVE. Sara Carbonero has given her sister Irene custody of Martin and Lucas, the children she had with ex-husband Iker Casillas. Carbonero also has her mother as well as her close friend, Isabel Jiménez, to provide her with support as reported by MARCA.

Previously, in May 2019, when Carbonero was still with Iker, she had already undergone one ovarian cancer surgery. "Everything has gone very well, fortunately we caught it very early but I still have a few months of fighting while I follow the corresponding treatment. I am calm and confident that everything will turn out well. I know that the road will be hard but also that it will have a happy ending," wrote the 38-year-old journalist on an Instagram post.


Casillas, the former goalkeeper for Real Madrid, Porto and the Spanish national team football  had a heart attack in 2019 which led to his official retirement from football in August 2020 at the age of 39. He spent 16 years with Real Madrid and made 510 appearances. He is recognised as one of the greatest goalkeepers in football history.

Doctors found a cancerous tumour in Sara's ovaries soon after the heart attack that prematurely ended her husband's career. The 38-year-old underwent surgery at Madrid's famed Ruber International Clinic to remove the tumor before facing six months of chemotherapy.

Iker Casillas and wife Sara Carbonero attend a Gala Dinner at the Dukes of Braganza Palace during the Spanish Royals official visit to Portugal on November 28, in Guimaraes, Portugal
Carbonero was famously kissed by Casillas during a post-match interview after Spain won the World Cup in 2010 (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Casillas got married to Carbonero three months before the birth of their second kid, Lucas, on March 20, 2016, but the union's details weren't made public until 10 days later. Three days after first appearing to refute news of a break-up, the former couple announced in March of last year that they had indeed parted ways. They acknowledged that their love had "taken separate paths," but they vowed to stay nearby so that they could finish the "marvellous job" of parenting their two kids.