LEAGUES

Tearful Soriano reveals retirement thoughts after playing first match since 2017

7 months ago
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Not since May 2017 had Bruno Soriano played a game for boyhood club Villarreal but the 36-year-old returned to action on Monday.

Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano revealed he considered retirement after making an emotional comeback following more than three years on the sidelines.

Not since May 2017 had Soriano played a game for boyhood club Villarreal – two operations and a painful recovery leaving the 36-year-old out of action.

But after 1,128 days without football, Soriano finally returned in Monday's 2-2 LaLiga draw at home to Sevilla.

Soriano came off the bench in the 88th minute at El Madrigal, where he received a great ovation from his team-mates, coaching staff and the president in the dressing room.

"I don't know what to say," a tearful Soriano told Movistar post-match. "It's been so long since I played that I almost don't know what to say.

"I'm very happy, of course. I had tried to return many times and it wasn't possible. It's a massive joy for me and for all the people at the club and for my family.

Asked if he had ever considered retirement, Soriano replied: "There were some tough times where I thought that maybe the best thing was to stop, because there had been many disappointments in a row. But now I'm going to try to help the team."

Soriano has spent his entire career with Villarreal since making his debut in 2006 – the Spanish midfielder holding the record for most appearances in club history with 418.

"That's best of all," said head coach Javi Calleja. "Having him back and helping the team is very important for us.

"He's an example of fighting back, we're all very happy for his return and we hope to be able to count on him for the rest of the games."

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