Spain World Cup winner Carlos Marchena has announced his retirement and thanked the fans in an open letter.
Marchena, who represented Sevilla, Benfica, Valencia, Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna, among others and was part of the Euro 2008-winning side, posted the message on the official website of the Spanish Football Federation.
“Dear friends, I wish to share the decision that I made these past days,” the announcement began.
“I am putting an end to my active career as a footballer. It has not been easy, but that's life and now it's time to face a new era.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped, taught and supported me throughout these years. I feel privileged to have had the chance of experiencing many, many different things.
“This beautiful journey began on the Calle Leon de Las Cabezas de San Juan and it has not stopped enriching my life, both personally and professionally.
“I carry football, my education, good friends and an overall magnificent experience. I would like to thank all the teams Juven, CD Cabecense, Sevilla, Benfica, Valencia, Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna and Kerala Blaster, for giving me the opportunity of defending their jersey and because they allowed me to play for the Spanish national team.
“It is impossible to name all the people who have been important throughout my career, my family, friends, teammates, fans… All of them. Thank you for so much!”