ATLÉTICO DE MADRID
Borja Bastón bids Eibar goodbye with a moving open letter
"I've been very happy at Eibar. There's no doubt for me that it has been a fundamental step forward in my career as a footballer".
- LaLiga Santander, matchday 20: Alavés-Atlético Live.
Borja Bastón's loan stint at Eibar is at an end and he will return to Atlético this summer, but with his future still unresolved. There has been no official word from Atlético about where Bastón will be next season - even though he enjoyed a noteworthy season during his loan with the Basque side, finishing the campaign with19 goals in all competitions. Atlético must now decide whether to farm him out again or sell him while his market price is high.
Bastón meanwhile has bid farewell to Eibar's fans with an emotional open letter on the club website in which he expressed his gratitude for everything he experienced during his time at Ipurua.
"After some time learning my trade in the Second Division, I had the opportunity to elect my destiny in the First Division. At last I was able to settle at a club in the top flight. It's the dream of every young footballer to debut in the top division - an achievement you spend years chasing while you make your way through the touth categories.
But all players need consistency and confidence so that we can give our best out on the pitch. That is what I was looking for after a few very intense years - ones with good moments to remember and others which made me stronger as a person and as a player.
For a young player who is searching for an opening in football, finding a club which cares about you, looks after you, and makes you feel that you are at home is fundamental. That is exactly what I found when I came to SD Eibar. From the first day I understood the club's philosophy and was able to confront all of the challenges that lay ahead with enthusiasm. As soon as I arrived I knew I had made the right decision. What I could never have imagined was all of the satifying things which I would experience throughout the season.
In my first few days the great excitement which surrounds the club rubbed off on me. Remaining in the First Division was an extra reward which we all wanted to make the most of. Right from the off I soaked up the essence of what this club is all about - remaining humble but never giving up on any challenge, strengthening the union between everyone here at Eibar, giving the maximum every day in training and learning from past mistakes.
All of those values - humility, unity, hard work, dedication and effort were constant during the whole season. And only with those values were we able to maintain our place in the category and grow as a team as the campaign wore on. That is what happened - every day we felt stronger. That strength allowed us to feel comfortable out on the field of play. And in turn, it brought the tranquility we needed to gain good results.
In my first few weeks, I would often hear how SD Eibar has been a excellent school for up and coming young players. I was told about Xabi Alonso and David Silva who spent time at the club and the progression that they both made - both of them going on to become world champions. All of the people who related those tales to me were right - SD Eibar is the perfect place to develop and grow as a player.
My team mates, the coaching staff and the club have allowed me to be able to fight during the whole season for the honour of being the top national goal scorer in the division. But aside from the goals, which every striker needs, the experience I have been through will serve me as I continue to develop my professional career.
I have been very happy at Eibar, I lived in the centre of the city and that let me get to know more about the city and its people and customs; I've been able to complete a fundamental education for my future. There is no doubt that for me, this has been a fundamental step forward in my development as a footballer.
Now all that is left for me to do is to give my thanks for everyone who showed faith in me, to all of my team mates, to the tenchnical staff, the sports department and the president. And of course to the magnificent fans who, right from the first day, believed in a lad who was still just a debutant in the First Division and who gave me an infinite amount of affection. Thank you Eibar and thank you SD Eibar. I don't know where destiny will lead us to meet again, but the mark which you have left on me is, and always will be, indelible".
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