After several years defending the same colors, there are historic players who decided to leave the team where they became idols to face new challenges in their careers. We tell you the most representative cases of this season.
LatinAmerican Post | Camilo Parra
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Leer en español: Fin de un ciclo: los jugadores históricos que se van de sus clubes
The soccer season in Europe came to an end and with it several historic players said goodbye to the club where they became legends, benchmarks and admired by their own and rival fans. Their names will go down in history and their legacy will be exposed to children who dream of one day being like their idols.
This is perhaps one of the ends of the season with the most changes in recent years, as many players, who thought they would end their careers at the club where they made history, decided to take on new challenges for their lives and find another shirt to defend in the upcoming seasons. Given this, with the transfer market open, some departures for the start of the new campaign in Europe were confirmed.
Before the World Cup, Gerard Piqué gave a notice of what could happen once the 2022-2023 season ended. The Spanish defender surprisingly decided to end his career at the age of 35 in the Barcelona match against Almería, at that time he was barely reaching the middle of his development in local and international tournaments.
After the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and as is customary in Europe, prior to the summer pass market, speculation begins about the possible transfers of players to different teams. On this occasion, the names that came out of their teams surprised the world of soccer, because it was news that nobody expected to hear.
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The midfielder surprised the sport's world at Barcelona led by Pep Guardiola and after winning as many trophies as possible in one season, he announced that after 15 seasons he was going to leave the 'Blaugrana' club to look for new challenges and put an end to his career at another league. According to the Spanish press, the player has offers from Arab, American, and European football on his hands, although he has not yet decided in which team he will continue his professional life.
One of the great surprises of recent days was delivered by the European, Spanish, and world champion with Real Madrid. The Frenchman Karim Benzema announced that he would not continue in the 'merengue' team after 14 seasons and will continue his career in Arab soccer and be the second best paid in that country, since only Cristiano Ronaldo surpasses him. Benzema signed a contract with Al Ittihad until 2026, a club that will see his last years as a professional.
The Brazilian came to England from Hoffenheim when Liverpool did not compete internationally and was not in the top positions in the local league. In his first year, he scored 10 goals and gradually earned an important place in Jürgen Klopp's team. With the passing of the campaigns, and will regain the throne in the Premier League.
After arriving in Barcelona for the 2012-2013 season, the starting left-back for the club's last 10 seasons decided to leave his ranks to face new challenges. Originally from Valencia, Alba came to Catalonia to be champion of Europe and Spain, something he achieved in the 2014-2015 season playing at his highest level. Now that he has achieved all his goals and his level is not what it was before, the Spaniard decided to end his cycle with the 'Blaugrana' shirt.
At the age of 41 and after being champion in Italy, the Netherlands, France, England and Spain, the Swedish striker decided to end his professional career. Zlatan Ibrahimovic played his last seasons with AC Milan in which he was important in the 2020-2021 campaign, scoring 15 goals, an aspect that led him to be the team's top scorer. However, injuries did not allow him to have continuity and in the season that just ended he could barely play 144 minutes, a fact that led him to make this decision.
The transfer market is just beginning and the departure of other players such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos from PSG, who did not meet the expectations of their fans, has already been confirmed. It is also known that Eden Hazard, who came to Real Madrid as a star, left as a substitute and with little prominence with the team. Now, it remains to be hoped that more movements can take place in these months, which promise to be full of surprises.