The Spain international, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Valencia in 2011, has thanked the west London club's supporters and praised his former teammates and managers.
As you can imagine this is a very important day in my life, and with these lines I would like to express the memories and emotions that come to me as I write.
This letter is written from my heart, and first of all I would like to say that I will never forget all the affection given to me by the Chelsea fans. From the very first day until the last.
Football is a team sport and it’s not easy to play regularly in such a good squad. In sports you may win or lose, but the most important thing is to give everything. I hope you know and feel that I have always done so. In every game, in every training session, without exception. I have always tried my best for the club.
I would like to emphasise the affection, admiration and respect that I’ve had for my former team mates since the first day. I want to thank the captains for their help and understanding at all times. They made me feel comfortable when I arrived and they have supported me throughout the difficult times this season.
I thank all my former team mates for these two and a half years and I wish them the best, personally and professionally, for the future. Of course I have been closer to some of them, but the most important thing is that my years in Chelsea have left me with great friends. Friends forever, football rivalries aside.
I also want to highlight the day-to-day job of every member of the Chelsea staff: medical team, kit men, staff at Cobham and Stamford Bridge, media and marketing department, Chelsea TV team … All of them are very important in making this club a great one. Thank you for your treatment and your efforts to make the life of the players easier.
Furthermore, thanks to every manager I have had the pleasure to work with during my time here. They have all been a big help for my progression as a player. I have always respected their decisions, whatever they were; they made me more mature and a stronger person. You learn from everything, and certain situations make you think about other team mates who are coping with similar situations more regularly.
Thank you Andre for giving me the opportunity to join Chelsea FC. Without your support, none of this would have happened. To Robbie and Rafa, for their unlimited trust in me. And to Jose, for making me a stronger player, because in difficult moments, I have learnt to remain positive and to keep working hard.
Lastly, I want to thank the Club, and in particular its owner, Roman Abramovich, for trusting me and making an important investment when signing me. Also for their understanding regarding my situation over the last months. I’m very glad to have been part of the squad that made his and our dream come true: winning the Champions League on that unforgettable night in Munich. Additionally, my years in Chelsea have been profitable for the club, which I’m very pleased about.
I want to make clear that the stage that now comes to an end has been extremely important for me, personally and professionally. Although many of you, like myself, never thought this moment would come, this is football and a new chapter is about to begin.
I would have liked to say good bye to all of you in the stadium, or in a press conference, but it has not been possible. I’m sure I will be able to do it in the future, because that is what you deserve.
Evidently, today is a day of mixed feelings, remembering the past and looking forward to the future and what it has to bring. I look forward to being happy and to enjoy what I like the most: play football.
I will never forget my time in Chelsea and the affection I take with me, I will keep forever.
I wish you the best. A big hug to all of you.
THANK YOU so much,