Gabi says leaving Atletico Madrid was the hardest decision he has had to make in his career, with the club captain heading to Qatar. The 34-year-old has agreed to join Stars League side Al Sadd, where he will join forces with another La Liga icon in former Barcelona star Xavi.

Gabi announced his move at a news conference on Tuesday and said it was the right time to move on. "It's a difficult and emotional day, thanks for helping me make the hardest decision of my career," Gabi said.

"I've been thinking with my heart since I was 12 and now I have to do it with my head.

"Two reasons. The first, that in a week I turn 35 and I probably do not have another similar opportunity.

"The second, that the two previous times [he could have left] I would not have been winning. This time I have the chance to leave with a title."

Gabi scored the last goal as Atletico beat Marseille 3-0 to seal the Europa League title and the midfielder is already plotting his return to the Wanda Metropolitano.

"I want to return as soon as possible, everyone knows that I consider it my home and I will help the club or with a scarf in my hand," Gabi added.

"First to learn English, to prepare myself and in two or three years I hope to be here."