Real Betis lose another defender for next season as former Arsenal player announces retirement

Real Betis defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has announced that he will be retiring from professional football at the end of the season. The 35-year-old defender, who also boasts Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan on his CV, has decided to hang up his boots after next weekend’s trip to Real Madrid.

Sokratis signed for Betis last autumn following the unexpected departure of Luiz Felipe and season-ending injury suffered by Marc Bartra. In total, he has played 14 times for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, and with German Pezzella missing for Sunday’s clash against Real Sociedad, he should be in the line-up for the final home match of his season. He announced the news of his retirement on Instagram, as per Diario AS.

“October 2023, I made the decision to accept the offer to join this team which for me was a great challenge, changing country, league, home. Betis became a family for me, everyone welcomed me as if I had been here for years. I loved the city, the team. But my life away from my family is what forces this journey to come to an end. Therefore, I am happy that my own football career will end playing for Betis in La Liga.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been with me on this journey. My teammates, the entire team staff, the coach who believed in me from day one and made me feel like I belonged to this family for years. And the management of the team that chose me for this collaboration. And all you fans of the team for your support in victories and defeats.

“Two last matches left wearing the Betis jersey, two very significant matches, with the first match tomorrow we will do everything to win! I’m waiting for you all there! Thank you Beticos!! Thank you Verdiblancos!”

Sokratis’ departure means that Real Betis lose another defender for next season. Juan Miranda is set to leave as a free agent, Abner Vinicius is poised to join Lyon, while German Pezzella has been linked with a return to Argentina. Pellegrini will certainly need reinforcements during the summer.

Tags Real Betis Sokratis
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