- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

MADRID (AP) - The Spanish government has honored Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez for their long and successful careers at Real Madrid and Barcelona that ended this summer.

The government says it inducted the goalkeeper and midfielder into Spain’s Royal Order of Sports Merit.

Casillas and Xavi were club rivals but friends off the pitch, and on Spain’s national team.

Xavi left Barcelona for Qatar after 17 seasons, while Casillas moved to Portuguese club FC Porto last weekend.

The two players, who helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup among a slew of trophies for clubs and country, were awarded with the annual sports prize from Spain’s Prince of Asturias Foundation in 2012.

Casillas still plays for Spain, while Xavi retired from international competition last year.

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