I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.
Either that or somebody is profusely chopping onions nearby.
Because the end of every season brings with it some emotional tear-jerking goodbyes as the sands of time take its toll on certain players.
We saw Michael Carrick given a hero’s send off at Man United on Sunday whilst Andres Iniesta’s departure from Barcelona has captured the hearts of everyone in the game.
But which other legends have – or will be – saying farewell to their clubs this summer that you might not have been aware of?
1 Xabi Prieto – Real Sociedad
Finding a ‘one-club’ legend is so rare now – which means Iniesta and Prieto’s exits this summer really do pull at the heart strings.
The Real Sociedad captain spent 14 years with the La Liga club, playing alongside everyone from Xabi Alonso to Antoine Griezmann along the way.
And in honour of their skipper Sociedad designed a specific club badge with Prieto’s name and face ahead of his final home game with Leganes at the weekend.
They won it 3-2 and Prieto, despite being plagued by a hernia injury, came on as a late substitute to get the winning send off he deserved.
2 Per Mertesacker – Arsenal
This one slipped slightly under the radar with all the fanfare about Arsene Wenger’s departure.
Mertesacker joined the Gunners seven years ago and went onto captain the club in front of adoring fans who coined him the ‘BFG’.
His knees got the better of him in the end and under doctors’ advice he took the decision to move from the playing field to the backroom staff at Arsenal.
On his day one of the best readers of the game around, proving that pace isn’t always a necessity.
3 Roman Weidenfeller – Borussia Dortmund
A Dortmund stalwart dating almost back to the turn of the millennium.
Two Bundesliga titles, two German Cups and over 450 appearances for the second best side in the country over his career.
Weidenfeller is a hero at Signal Iduna Park and showed his appreciation to their fans in the famous Yellow Wall during his last home game against Mainz last weekend.
4 Angel Rangel – Swansea
A man truly emblematic of Swansea’s rise to the top and subsequent fall from grace.
Rangel was signed from the Spanish lower leagues in 2008 for just £50,000 but went onto make 371 appearances on their incredible adventure to the Premier League.
Was part of the Spanish inquisition in south Wales that also saw the arrivals of Michu and Pablo Hernandez.
The club captain even went in goal for a bit against arch rivals Cardiff in 2013/14.
5 Claudio Pizarro – Koln
Very few players have been so consistently prolific in the Bundesliga in the 20th century.
Think of Pizarro as Germany’s answer to Jermain Defoe; lethal in the penalty area no matter who he was playing for.
Scored 307 goals in just over 700 career games, including 143 for Bayern Munich and one for Koln this season.
At 39 he is coy on his future and still hopes to go to the World Cup with Peru.
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