Santi’s departure I had mostly come to grips with. Bruno, on the other hand, I had held out hope that he would continue one more year. This season ends as a successful one, with the club back in Europe where it belongs, and both men have played important roles in that so of course we thank them, but the road forward with them gone will be difficult.
Bruno Soriano is retiring from football altogether. After battling knee issues for three years, he found a way to get his body together for one last go with the club he has such a deep bond with. This has likely meant hours in the trainer’s room before and after practice, pain and ice by the pound and disrupted sleep. I have no doubt that it’s been a sacrifice for him to even go through training each day, much less get out and compete at a very respectable La Liga level.
This season will be unforgettable for many reasons...— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) July 18, 2020
It's a shame we couldn't enjoy the end of it together with the fans.
#YellowsLegends #LlegendesGroguetes#VillarrealEibar pic.twitter.com/o1DyrCPj0h
Then there’s Santi. I can’t believe he got himself back to being this good. He’ll go on to play in Qatar where frankly his opponents will be completely overmatched by his class, but in terms of the bright lights and the biggest stage this is it, and boy has he been brilliant. Eleven goals, eight assists, and all kinds of brilliant underlying analytic numbers that stat nerds like me fawn over. He’s been one of the very best players in La Liga this season and as hard as both he and Bruno will both be to replace in the locker room I have no idea how this club is supposed to find someone of Santi’s quality on the pitch. There are big shoes to fill.
A thousand thanks to both these men. They make us proud to support Villarreal. It is my hope that very soon we will see Bruno doing his badges and working in the cantera, and that one day Santi will come back to join him. We are indebted to them both.