"I always thought with my heart but now I have to make a decision with my head"
Gabi said goodbye to Atlético Madrid as he leaves for Qatar and was joined for his departure by club officials and teammates Saul, Koke and Juanfran.
Gabi is moving to Qatar and on Tuesday said goodbye to Atlético Madrid, although the goodbye (or see you later) will have a second half when he comes back to say goodbye to the fans next season. He was accompanied by Juanfra, Koke and Saúl, Enrique Cerezo, Gil Marín, Andrea Berta, Solozábal, Antonio López and his family.
“This is a difficult and emotional day for me,” Gabi said. “It’s been the hardest moment of my career. This club is a lifestyle for me.”
“I’d like to thank the fans for their non-stop continuous support,” Gabi said. “I’m leaving, but I’ll be back soon to keep on helping.”
"It’s an honor to have been by your side. We’ve lived incredible things together,” Juanfran said. “You represent us and this club’s values.”
“You’ve been a big brother to me,” Koke said. “Get ready because you’re going to be the next Atlético manager.”
“Everyone should say thank you for representing Atlético de Madrid better than anybody else,” Saúl said. “These moments have been magical.”
"I've been at the club of my life for 18 years. I have had many teammates, the majority of them being better than me, but few have understood how to defend the jersey like me," he said. "It has been a privilege. I suffered like nobody with losses, but I enjoyed so much that few teammates understand."
On Koke's comments about being the manager of the club some day, he said, "I want to return before long, everyone know I consider this my home and I will the club working here or with the scarf in my hand. First, I want to learn English, to prepare me and in two or three years I hope to be back here," he said.
He was asked what Cholo said and he responded that "the manager was surprised but he understood perfectly and he helped me to make the decision."
"Everything," he said when asked what he would miss the most. "When you wake up in the morning with the energy to help the club of your life. Now my life changes. My crest was not on the jersey but on my skin. And I will continue to express that."