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HomeFootballEmotional remaining program: Raul Garcia retires at the end of the season

Emotional remaining program: Raul Garcia retires at the end of the season

La Liga is losing one of its all-time greats. The end of the career of Raul Garcia (37), who will narrowly miss out on a major record, was made public on Monday

It is rare to read such a detail in important club announcements, but the newly crowned Spanish Cup winner formulated it as a compliment: On Monday, Raul Garcia announced the decision to end his playing career at the end of the season to his team-mates in the sports facilities at the Athletic Club grounds – “where he spent several hours every day to prolong his career as much as possible”.

Raul Garcia, who now only plays very sporadically at Bilbao, was always known throughout his career as an attacker who liked to go where it hurt – usually against his opponents thanks to his commitment.

The right-footer moved from Osasuna, his youth club and the club in his native Pamplona, to Atletico Madrid in 2007 – before the Diego Simeone coaching era. But even before the Argentine’s arrival, Raul Garcia was part of the Atletico team that won the Europa League in 2010. He then went on to win the Spanish Cup in 2013 and even became Spanish champion under Simeone in 2014. During this time, Raul Garcia also made two appearances for the Spanish national team.

An important farewell shot

In 2015, he moved to Bilbao, where Raul Garcia has now played most of his 602 La Liga games. This already puts him in third place overall. He will no longer reach first place, which is shared by former Spanish international goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta and Betis legend Joaquin (622 appearances each).

In its press release, Athletic Club praised Raul Garcia as a “true legend” and also paid tribute to his contribution to the cup win a week ago, the club’s first title in 40 years. Raul Garcia, who only came on as a substitute after 90 minutes, was the first Basque player to take a penalty in the shoot-out against Mallorca – and he converted.

In a farewell video, Raul Garcia folds up the shirts of his clubs Osasuna, Atletico and Athletic and says that “everything has an end”. His is likely to be quite emotional: The Basques, who are still playing for a Champions League spot, still face Atletico and Osasuna, among others.

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