Illarramendi leaves Real Sociedad to make way for youngsters | Sports

After fifteen years at Real Sociedad, with the hiatus of two seasons at Real Madrid, Asier Illarramendi (Mutriku, 33 years old), steps aside and will continue in football, but playing in a team far from San Sebastián. He does so after reflecting on his future for several months, and without taking into account that Real will probably play in the Champions League next season. According to its president, Jokin Aperribay, he does it out of loyalty to the colours: “You have always spoken to me about the future of Real, to make way for the youngest, that your time had come”, pointed out the leader in the farewell. “You have always spoken to me from generosity and not from individualism.”

Excited, before his teammates blanketed him on the Anoeta pitch, the footballer revealed that “it has not been an easy decision because I have thought about it a lot”. Illarra confesses that, “in the end I thought it was the best thing for Real and for me to part ways. I am sorry to leave what has been my home all my life, but I am proud and happy with my career here”.

Asier, according to Aperribay, the jewel of the 1990 generation, assures that, “there are no words to describe this team. They are friends, my family. It is impossible to be in a better place. It’s a great team of friends. We share joys and suffering. La Real is not just another team because it is a family ”, and he adds: “I am leaving calmly because I know that in the coming years that will continue to be the same. The main thing here is to be people, I leave in peace”.

Illarramendi made his debut with Real Sociedad in the Second Division on June 19, 2010. Uruguayan Martín Lasarte gave him an alternative to the first team. He lost to Elche (4-1), but the people from San Sebastian had already celebrated promotion to the First Division. The following season he caressed the highest category at the Madrigal, on the twentieth day. He was still a subsidiary player, but he played three games with the first team. In the 2011/12 campaign, the Frenchman Philippe Montanier gave him command of the square. He started until a meniscus injury sidelined him for three months. His freshness in the realistic midfielder began to give the team another air. With his return the following season, Real recovered its tone. He was essential for the classification of the San Sebastian team for the Champions League.

By then, the name of Asier Illarramendi was already beginning to be listed on the transfer market, so after a brilliant participation in the Under-21 European Championship with Spain, Real Madrid paid 30 million euros to hire him. At the Bernabéu he never finished adapting, and two seasons later, Real paid 18 million euros for his return. Eight years later, after lifting a Copa del Rey and with several major injuries on his way, Illarramendi, who had lost prominence due to the appearance of footballers like Zubimendi, and after a long period of reflection, decided to announce his departure. Imanol Alguacil, his coach, was one of the first to hear the news: “I told him on Sunday after winning in Barcelona,” Illarra confesses. “I wanted to talk to him. He had a right to know. I’ve always gotten along great and I wanted to share the decision with him.” The player notes: “He told me that he was sorry to lose me. He thanked me and life moves on. La Real is in good hands with him”.

He leaves, “quiet, with the feeling of having given everything he had. Now I take a new path because I felt that my cycle here had ended and I had to make way for the new generations that are coming strong”. On June 4, against Sevilla, he will say goodbye to the fans txuriurdin.

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