Gabi: Leaving Atletico the hardest decision of my career

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Xavi's Al Sadd will have the defender in their ranks after Atletico Madrid's captain confirmed his departure from the La Liga club

Gabi says leaving Atletico Madrid was the hardest decision he has had to make in his career, with the club captain heading to Qatar.

The 34-year-old has agreed to join Stars League side Al Sadd, where he will join forces with another La Liga icon in former Barcelona star Xavi.

Gabi announced his move at a news conference on Tuesday and said it was the right time to move on.

"It's a difficult and emotional day, thanks for helping me make the hardest decision of my career," Gabi said.

"I've been thinking with my heart since I was 12 and now I have to do it with my head.

"Two reasons. The first, that in a week I turn 35 and I probably do not have another similar opportunity.

"The second, that the two previous times [he could have left] I would not have been winning. This time I have the chance to leave with a title."

Gabi scored the last goal as Atletico beat Marseille 3-0 to seal the Europa League title and the midfielder is already plotting his return to the Wanda Metropolitano.

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"I want to return as soon as possible, everyone knows that I consider it my home and I will help the club or with a scarf in my hand," Gabi added.

"First to learn English, to prepare myself and in two or three years I hope to be here."

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