BARCELONA, 23 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The player Bojan Krkic announced his retirement as a professional footballer this Thursday in an appearance at the Auditori 1899 of the Spotify Camp Nou, a fiefdom in which the striker from Linyola (Lleida), trained at La Masia, lived his best years.
“Last week I was talking about it with my mother. Years ago where we were were dirt fields, I came to do the tests with Barça. I stayed in my club, in my family, and after many years I want to announce with great pride that the stage of professional football player. I am infinitely grateful for what I have lived. Life is stages and one must be honest with oneself, and realistic. I feel for a long time that my moment has arrived”, he announced.
Bojan, 32, announced his retirement from professional football. He was currently without a team, after a meniscus injury that ended his spell at Andrés Iniesta’s Japanese Vissel Kobe in February, so the forward chose to end his career.
“These decisions are not easy to make, no matter how old you are. But I had been away from home for 12 years, on a professional level I feel very fulfilled. I felt that it was time to be close to my family and enjoy things that I have not been able to enjoy these years”, he was sincere.
He highlighted several moments in his career, especially from the ‘Guardiola era’ at Barça, noting that the most influential coach for him was Frank Rijkaard, with whom he made his first-team debut. “It was a unique stage and I feel privileged to be part of those years. But the Copa del Rey in Valencia against Athletic, in which I scored, probably meant a lot to me, and obviously winning the Champions League was very special”, remembered.
With the Barça first team, he played a total of 163 games, spread over four seasons (from 2007 to 2011), and in which he scored 41 goals and provided 19 assists in all competitions. His record includes 2 Champions Leagues and 3 Leagues, among other titles.
The Japanese and Canadian (Montréal) leagues were the last in which this small striker trained at La Masia played, who was going to diamond and who, despite enjoying good seasons at Barça, did not quite explode as expected of him. However, he is one of the most talented and best-performing forwards trained at La Masia.
Bojan announced, in what was his home and with the journalist Albert Om as driver, that he is taking a step forward in his life. And he does it by closing a stage as a footballer in which he went through 9 clubs and won a good record, opened by those two ‘Champions’ that he won at Pep Guardiola’s Barça, plus a Club World Cup, 3 Leagues, 1 European Super Cup , 1 Copa del Rey and 3 Spanish Super Cups, among others.
He said goodbye under a photograph of himself from his time at Barça and with a ‘Gràcies’ from the club. But he also had behind him all the shirts he has worn, from FC Barcelona to Vissel Kobe, going through Rome, Milan, Ajax, Stoke City, Mainz, Alavés and Montréal Impact. In addition, the title of him were next to him.
FINAL FAREWELL ON THE GREEN AND RETURN TO BARÇA?
Despite this announcement, Bojan will continue training because his intention is to retire permanently wearing the Catalonian team shirt, in a match that the Catalan Federation is organizing, still unrivaled, for the end of June. That will be the true end of the footballer Bojan.
“The idea discussed is that my last game is with the Catalan team. It means a lot to me and it would make me very happy to play this last game with my people. The Catalan Federation is looking for a rival for a game at the end of June,” he announced, with the coach Gerard López in the auditorium.
And, looking to the future, he assured that he is preparing to be a coach or manager, always looking towards the human side of footballers. “I feel prepared to start a new stage with enthusiasm and the desire to be part of a club in the most human part of the players or in the sports management. With the experience I’ve had and the training I’m having. And I’ll start to get the coach’s card and we’ll see”, he announced.
Being in the Camp Nou facilities, with the Blaugrana president, Joan Laporta, in front, it was clear: “The Barça feeling is very deep. For me, Barça is family, it is where I have formed as a player and person. Logically, being part of of the club or being able to help make it bigger, because I consider myself to be from Barça and it would logically make me very happy. I am very much from Barça and it would be a great honor”, he stated about his desire to return to the club as a coach or in sports management.
A dart that Laporta picked up with pleasure. “As president of Barça, I tell you that Barça has always been your home and will continue to be. I had the honor of being the president of Bojan, who was debuting in the first team, and now as president, I thank you for everything and see you soon. For him Barça would be an honor to have you as an assistant in this new era that I hope will be splendid,” said the president.
“Bojan is part of the history of Barça. Bojan was special, we will remember him for his record and above all for being that Linyola player who broke all the goalscoring records in the subsidiary, until Rijkaard made you debut. You came up at 17 years old and You generated illusion, that is why perhaps you have matured so much”, Laporta dedicated to him.