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Ex-Arsenal Star Monreal Retires From Football At 36

Ex-Arsenal Star Monreal Retires From Football At 36

Former Arsenal and Spain left-back Nacho Monreal has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 36.

Confirming his retirement with a heartfelt message on social media, Monreal affirmed that he ‘accepted’ the situation with his knee injury and is grateful for the success he enjoyed as a player.

“36 years playing football. 16 as a professional. Squeezing my body and taking it to limits that I would never have imagined.

“My knee sends me a message… loud and clear; I cannot continue! Do I get mad? NO! I listen to it and accept the situation and thank it for everything.

“A stage is over. Another starts. I’m happy and feeling good. One more time… I FEEL GOOD!!! And that gives me peace of mind. Life is a gift and I like to be grateful. Thank you @caosasuna @rfef @malagacf @arsenal @realsociedad for letting me cross your paths. What a good years….”

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Monreal came through the youth system at Osasuna before making the move to Malaga in 2011, where his form attracted the interest of Arsenal.

Despite initially struggling to win over the fans in North London, Monreal eventually established a reputation as one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers as he battled Kieran Gibbs for the left-back spot.

He cemented his place as Arsenal’s first-choice left-back from the 2014-15 season onwards and spent six-and-a-half years in North London before returning to his homeland with Real Sociedad.

During his time at Arsenal, Monreal scored10 goals and 20 assists in 251 games for the Gunners, featuring under Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery before leaving in the summer of 2019.

He won three FA Cups and three Community Shields with the Gunners and collected his final piece of silverware as a player with Sociedad in 2019-20, winning the Copa del Rey.

Monreal was a key fixture under Imanol Alguacil during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns, featuring prominently in La Liga and Europa League action.

Monreal contributed one goal and four assists in 69 outings for Sociedad in all competitions and earned 22 caps for the Spain national team, scoring once and providing four assists.

He only made one major tournament appearance for Spain in the 2013 Confederations Cup, and was an unused substitute for La Roja during the 2018 World Cup.

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