Midfielder Raul Garcia leaves Atletico in tears

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Madrid, Sep 2 (IANS) Spanish international midfielder Raul Garcia has bid farewell to La Liga club Atletico Madrid, where he spent the last eight years of his football career before signing for league rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Tearful Garcia was on Tuesday surrounded by a number of his Rojiblancos teammates and other employees from the club in the VIP hall of the Vicente Calderon stadium, reports Efe.

Garcia received a round of applause during his farewell event to conclude seven years at Atletico, where he earned 329 caps and scored 49 goals, except for the 2011-12 season when he was loaned to Atletico Osasuna.

The event was attended by teammates Koke Resurreccion, Gabi Fernandez, Fernando Torres, Juanfran Torres, Miguel Angel Moya, Tiago Mendes, Jesus Gamez and Filipe Luis.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me since I came here,” Garcia said.

The 29-year-old midfielder could not hold back his tears, but he continued: “Fortunately, I got what I wanted, which was for people to know me personally. I leave proud of everything I have achieved.

“For me, the love of the people is the greatest thing. I now have respect mainly for the club that has made me be who I am. But everything I have at a personal level is much more. The day that I have to go, may it be with my head held high and knowing that people know me,” Garcia added.

When asked if he is planning to return to Atletico in the future, he said that he is currently focusing on the challenges up ahead, and he does not know what might happen in the future. But he said he will leave the door open for any possibility.

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