Barcelona’s Victor Valdes has confirmed he is leaving the club by way of an emotional open letter written to fans.
The goalkeeper is currently recovering from a knee injury, which ruled him out for the season, and he will now continue with his treatment in Germany.
He will therefore not play for Barca again before departing but took time to thank all those responsible for enabling him to realise his dream of playing for the Blaugrana for 12 years.
“The time is here for me to say goodbye and to leave you,” Valdes wrote. “Unfortunately I have not been able to go out playing football as I would have liked to.
“But sometimes that is life and this year has been cruel to me in that sense.
“I have had time to reflect on where I have come from and what has changed me. All I can think of are certain people who have helped me reach where I am now. I want to dedicate this letter to them.
“Thank you to all the youth coaches who made me the player I always dreamed of being.
“They took me in as a nine-year-old boy and made me into a goalkeeper who would play at Camp Nou, ten years later.
“Thank you to Louis Van Gaal, who showed the courage that was necessary to rely on young talent that only he knew how to spot.
“He started the building of a historic Barca, a Barca that I have had the privilege to be a part of. Thanks from my heart.
“Thank you to Frank Rijkaard for giving me the necessary confidence and helping me taste glory by touching the European Cup with my own hands.
“Wherever you are, I repeat that I will always be indebted to you, boss.
“Thank you Pep for opening the door to playing a type of football that was unheard of. You were my guide during the journey that you have to take in pursuit of success.
“We found it together and believe me, boss, it will be eternal!
“Thank you Tito. Wherever you are, I thank you for having taught us not only the way to win as a team, but also the strength of character necessary to deal with life’s problems.
“Thank you to all the teammates with whom I have had the pleasure to work with day after day. You have made me feel important in this group we created together over the years.
“Finally, I don’t want to forget the most important people for me during these twelve years as a professional. My faithful supporters.
“You have always given me the courage I have needed at every moment. You were always proud to be there at every celebration and supporting at every match.
“I have never stopped appreciating the positive energy you give. It has carried me through my whole time here, I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone.
“Thank you to everyone a thousand times. I ask that you please don’t stop supporting me.