The request for an apology was not long in coming. Carles Puyol quickly knew that his tweet was wrong. The world and European champion has apologized for his “clumsy joke” in response to ex-national goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ alleged coming out. “I made a mistake,” the 44-year-old wrote on Twitter. His response to Casillas’ tweet was “without bad intentions” but was “totally inappropriate.”

The Spanish goalkeeper legend Casillas gave his supposed coming out in a tweet that was later deleted and later justified this with a hacked account. “I hope you respect me: I’m gay,” read the 41-year-old’s Twitter account.

The tweet was deleted after about an hour. Puyol then responded on Twitter. “It’s time to tell our story, Iker,” he wrote, followed by a heart emoji and a kissing hand emoji.

There was a lot of criticism for the tweets, and the apology sometimes didn’t help much. “To be joking and poking fun at coming out in football is disappointing,” wrote Australian gay soccer pro Joshua Cavallo. “To see my role models and legend players make fun of coming out and about.” making fun of my community is beyond disrespectful.”

Puyol and Casillas later apologized. “I understand it might have hurt sensibilities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA community,” wrote former Barcelona pro Puyol. Casillas previously said: “Sorry to all my followers. And of course apologies to the LGTB community as well.”

Former Real professional Casillas was married to sports journalist Sara Carbonero until 2021 and has two sons with her. Puyol has been with model Vanesa Lorenzo for years, and they have two daughters together.