Diego Godin confirms at press conference that he is leaving Atletico Madrid this summer when contract expires.
He said at the press conference: “I’m more than a fan of Atletico, so I wanted to say this myself. It has been more than a club for me, it has been a family and my way of life.”
“The most beautiful phase of my career and my life comes to an end. I’m proud to have been a part of this club’s history. I’m very thankful.”
Godin notes press conference ‘is tougher than any match’ as he tries to prevent himself crying.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo states this is a ‘very special day’ for the club, calls Godin’s contribution for the club ‘extraordinary’.
Diego Godin spent most of his professional career in Spain, representing Villarreal and Atlético Madrid and winning seven major titles with the latter, including the La Liga title in the 2013–14 season.
On 4 August 2010, after experiencing his best season at Villarreal – 36 games, three goals – Godín joined fellow league team Atlético Madrid on a five-year contract, after the two clubs agreed an initial fee believed to be around €8 million or £6.6 million. He made his official debut for the Colchoneros on the 27th, playing the entire 2–0 win against Inter Milan for the UEFA Super Cup.
Godín signed a new contract with Atlético on 1 November 2013, keeping him at the club until 2018. “I’m delighted to prolong my stay with the club. This is my home”, he said. He scored four league goals during the campaign, including one on the last matchday on 17 May 2014 against FC Barcelona which equalized the game at 1–1 to earn his team its first league title in 18 years. A week later, again through a header, he repeated the feat in the final of the UEFA Champions League to put his team ahead, but Real Madrid eventually won 4–1.
In 2015, Godín rejected a transfer to Manchester City, managed by his former Villarreal boss Manuel Pellegrini. On 28 October 2017 he became the foreign player with most appearances for the club, surpassing fellow stopper Luis Perea after his 315th against Villarreal; he was nominated for the 2016 and 2018 Ballon d’Or awards.