Casillas, Xavi win Prince of Asturias award
Madrid: The prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Sport was awarded to Spain football internationals Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez.
The award saw the Real Madrid goalkeeper and FC Barcelona midfielder chosen over the other finalist, by 11 votes to 7 Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
The jury, presided over by former Spanish tennis player, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, highlighted that despite playing for two clubs which are bitter rivals in domestic competition, Casillas and Xavi "symbolize the values of friendship and companionship beyond the rivalry of their respective teams and their sporting behaviour is an example for youngsters."
"Both have achieved the most important titles with their clubs and the Spanish national side, they are an example of fair play and they are admired by everyone," continued the jury.
"Together they have shown a conciliatory attitude that has helped the traditional differences between players and fans. They have been friends since they won the Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria in 1999 and the passing of time has strengthened that relationship above confrontations and passion," concluded the jury.
Spain captain Casillas has made 138 appearances for Spain, while Xavi has represented the national side on 113 occasions.
The Prince of Asturias Awards are handed out every year for a variety of subjects ranging from sport, to the arts and international co-operation. Each award carries a cash prize of 50,000 euros and the winners also receive a statue by artist Joan Miro in the ceremony.