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Real Madrid confirm departure of Champions League-winning captain

'One of the biggest legends': Real Madrid confirm exit of Nacho
© Reuters
Real Madrid confirm that legendary defender Nacho has decided to end his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have confirmed that Nacho will be leaving the club at the end of this month.

While the 34-year-old has not always been regarded as a first-choice pick at the Santiago Bernabeu, he has been one of the most valuable squad players in the history of the club.

The versatile defender has made a total of 364 appearances in all competitions since his senior bow during the 2010-11 campaign.

Despite his advancing years, Nacho has arguably saved the best of those seasons until last, making 45 outings and skippering Los Blancos to Champions League success against Borussia Dortmund at the start of this month.

Like he did during the wins over Manchester City and Bayern Munich, the veteran was largely imperious as Carlo Ancelotti's side impressively lifted yet another European crown.

Real Madrid's Joselu celebrates scoring their first goal with Vinicius Junior, Nacho, Fran Garcia and Lucas Vazquez on February 18, 2024© Reuters

Free transfer inevitable

Nevertheless, it has long been known that his contract has been running down, Ancelotti admitting that he would prefer to retain the services of the veteran.

Months ago, the suggestion was that Nacho would only consider a move to MLS or the Middle East, but it soon materialised the latter would be his choice of destination.

Reports have recently indicated that Saudi Pro League club Al Qadsiah would be signing Nacho, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano indicating that a two-year contract is being penned.

Real have now moved to confirmed the departure of their longest-serving players, describing him as 'one of the biggest legends'.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on September 24, 2023© Reuters

What have Real, Perez had to say?

A statement read: "Real Madrid C.F. announces that our captain Nacho has taken the decision to end his career as a Real Madrid player.

"Real Madrid would like to thank and express our appreciation to Nacho, one of the club's biggest legends."

President Florentino Perez added: "Since he arrived at our youth academy as a child, Nacho has been an example to everyone and has earned the affection, recognition and admiration of everyone at Real Madrid. Real Madrid is and always will be his home."

Nacho leaves Madrid having won an incredible 26 pieces of silverware, most notably six Champions League trophies and four La Liga titles.

On Monday, reports emerged that another Champions League hero would be moving onto pastures new.

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Real Madrid forward Joselu on September 27, 2023
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