Diego Godin confirms Atletico exit as Inter switch looms

Long-serving Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin announced his impending departure from the club in a news conference on Tuesday.

Diego Godin: "I would like to play [at Atletico Madrid] until I'm 40, but that is impossible. We did not reach an agreement, so I have decided to leave, nothing else."   -  Getty Images

Diego Godin has announced he will leave Atletico Madrid when his contract expires at the end of the season, with a move to Inter rumoured to be on the horizon.

Club captain Godin joined Atletico from Villarreal in 2010 and was a key part of its La Liga title win in 2013-14 but confirmed in an emotional news conference on Tuesday his time at the club has come to an end. The 33-year-old centre-back played for Atleti in Champions League final defeats to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, though he did win the Europa League twice.

"I'm going to leave Atletico Madrid. These are my last days here," said Godin, who is expected to sign a contract with Serie A side Inter.

'Very hard to say goodbye'

"Atleti have been my family, my club and my home, and it's very hard to say goodbye. These have been wonderful years I have enjoyed a lot and I have grown as a player, but above all as a person.

"I would like to play here until I'm 40, but that is impossible. We did not reach an agreement, so I have decided to leave, nothing else."

 

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo picked out Godin's second-half equaliser in Atletico's 1-1 draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou in May 2014, which made the team La Liga champion for the first time since 1996, as a high point of the defender's time at the club.

'Extraordinary player'

Cerezo said: "This is a very special day for Atletico Madrid, the whole family have come together to say goodbye to you Diego, an extraordinary player who gave everything over nine seasons. You have been a great example both on and off the pitch during this historic stage of our club. Your gestures — like the goal at Camp Nou, which was worth a La Liga title — deserve to be recognised forever.

"Next year you will continue your professional career at another club, but you will always have the support of all Atleticos throughout your career. Atletico Madrid is your family and the Wanda Metropolitano is your home. If you were a champion on the pitch, off the pitch you were a super champion."

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