Real Madrid captain Nacho to leave boyhood club

By Sports Desk June 25, 2024

Real Madrid have announced their captain, Nacho, is leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Nacho joined Madrid's youth academy in 2001 at 10 years old and is ending a 23-year association with his boyhood club.

The defender made his debut in 2012, going on to make 364 appearances for the first team, winning 26 trophies, making him the joint-most decorated player in the team's history, along with Luka Modric.

He captained Los Blancos to their 15th Champions League title in June, lifting the trophy for the sixth time himself. He also won five Club World Cups, four LaLiga titles and two Copa del Reys in his extensive haul.

In a statement on social media, Nacho said: "Dear Madridistas. I want to dedicate a few words to you, which are too few to express everything I feel at this moment.

"I am saying goodbye to the club of my life, Real Madrid. I arrived when I was 10 years old. I trained as a person and, as a player, I learned to win and to lose, to fight and to suffer, to enjoy, and to always live with enthusiasm and determination. I learned everything I am today. I have been coming to train in the same place every day for almost 25 years, which is an understatement, learning the values of Madridismo, giving my life and fighting for this crest: you have given me everything.

"It's very difficult for me, but now it’s time to leave with the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that I have always given my best to represent this crest, on and off the pitch. When I was a boy, I often dreamed of playing in our stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, and today I have the honour of ending my time as the captain who managed to lift our 15th Champions League.

"There are no words to express my feelings. I always wanted my end as a Real Madrid player to be beautiful and at the top, and I can tell you that it is impossible to have a better one than this."

Nacho, who is currently representing Spain at Euro 2024, is expected to move to the Saudi Pro League when his contract runs out, with Al-Qadsiah the favourites to sign him.

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