Casillas shared a picture of himself meeting with Puyol on Sunday afternoon, appearing to come out as gay.
"I hope you respect me: I'm gay," he wrote.
Puyol, who was a teammate of Casillas in the Spanish set up for a long time, replied: "It's time to tell our story, Iker.”
He also added a heart and kiss emoji in the post, which was also later deleted.
3.06pm – Joshua Cavallo leads criticism of the pair
\u201c@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing. It\u2019s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful\u201d
The posts quickly attracted the ire of the internet, and openly gay Australian footballer Joshua Cavallo led the criticism.
Cavallo, who became the first openly gay active professional footballer after coming out in October last year, called their behaviour "disappointing and "beyond disrespectful".
"@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing. It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful,” he wrote.
3.36pm – Casillas claims he’d been hacked
\u201cCuenta hackeada. Por suerte todo en orden. Disculpas a todos mis followers. Y por supuesto, m\u00e1s disculpas a la comunidad LGTB. \ud83d\ude4f\u201d
At first, Spanish publication AS suggested that Casillas' post could have been in relation to the speculation surrounding the rumours linking him romantically with Alejandra Onieva.
However, Casillas then issued a statement on Twitter and claimed that he had been hacked. The statement also saw him apologise to his followers and the LGBT community.
6.25pm – Puyol apologised for his tweet
\u201cMe he equivocado. Perd\u00f3n por una broma torpe sin ninguna mala intenci\u00f3n y absolutamente fuera de lugar. Entiendo que puede haber herido sensibilidades. Todo mi respeto y apoyo a la comunidad LGTBIQA+\u201d
Puyol said sorry for his actions, writing: "I have made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and totally out of place. I understand that it may have hurt sensitivities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA+ community."
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