Iker Casillas handed Spain's top sports honour with Royal Order Grand Cross

Iker Casillas hopes his legacy transcends his sporting achievements after being awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit by Spanish president Mariano Rajoy.

Spain and Porto No. 1 Casillas visited Madrid's Moncloa Palace on Tuesday to collect the Cross, having been selected to receive Spain's highest sporting award along with ex-Barcelona star Xavi in July.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid goalkeeper helped his national team win three tournaments in a row, lifting the Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 trophies in the most successful spell in Spanish footballing history.

Casillas told reporters on Tuesday: "I would like to thank the Spanish government for presenting me with this medal. I'm not sure I deserve it, but I'm filled with happiness.

"I dedicate this award to the people who have helped me over the course of my career, but in particular my wife, Sara, and my son Martín.

"I hope that when my playing career comes to an end I'm not only remembered for my sporting achievements, but also for helping and giving back to society everything I've been given."

Casillas spent 16 years at Los Blancos before joining Porto this summer, winning five La Liga titles, three European Cups, one Club World Cup and two Copa del Rey trophies among others.

Xavi -- who has since retired from international football -- will receive the same honour at a later date due to his commitments in Qatar with Al-Saad, the club he left Barcelona for this summer after 17 seasons at the Camp Nou.

The Grand Cross is granted by Royal Decree in accordance with the Council of Ministers.

Casillas and Xavi were both awarded the annual sports prize from Spain's Prince of Asturias Foundation in 2012.