The 35-year-old was part of the Kolkata club’s title-winning campaign in 2019-20.
The Spaniard was ATK’s silent guardian, a true leader and a pillar in defence. He is none other than Agus Garcia. The centre-back was immense in Antonio Lopez Habas’ three-man backline. But the 35-year-old has called time on an illustrious footballing career.
Agus Garcia never put a foot wrong in his first stint in India. He led the team from the back and remained in the shadows most of the time. The centre-back could have had a much ceremonious end to his career but had to leave for Spain mid-season due to personal reasons. Although Habas and his men made the necessary adjustments and won the Indian Super League trophy, they never forgot the defender’s contribution to the club.
After taking the decision of hanging up his boots, Agus announced it on Instagram with a heartfelt message. “At this date and having considered it, I want to share with you all this hard and difficult decision. After sixteen years as a professional football player, I’m retiring. I really want to say thank you to all the people I have met during these 16 years besides my family, friends, teammates, coaches and many more.”
He started his career at Albacete when he was only 11 years old and then gradually rose through the ranks and played for their ‘B’ team. He then joined Real Madrid Castilla. Garcia later played for a lot of clubs across the globe, starting from Celta Vigo in Spain to Houston Dynamo in the Major League Soccer. He also had stints at RCD Mallorca, Cordoba, Alcorcon and another in Cyprus. His stint with ATK last season, however, was his first and only time in Asia.
“Football has allowed me to live in six different countries within three continents. Travelling around the world, learning other languages, different cultures and finding new understanding has enriched me enormously and created a sense of accomplishment, both inside and outside football,” he went on to add.
He thanked all the teams in his career that allowed him to wear their jersey and fight for them on the field. “Thanks to all the teams I have had the privilege to wear their jersey of. The same to all the fans out there: Real Madrid Castilla, Celta de Vigo, Cordoba, CF, UD Alcorcon, Orduspor, RCD Mallorca, Houston Dynamo, Esbjerg, Nea Salamina and ATK. And finally to Albacete BP where it all began. You all trained me as a professional and also as a person. I take my hat off and salute to you all.”
It has been a long journey for the 35-year-old Spaniard and now as he decides to draw the ending line to his life as a footballer, Agus Garcia believes that he will miss football every day.
“Thanks football for this amazing journey! Now I have to face new challenges but have no doubt, I will miss you every day for the rest of my life,” he signed off.