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Nacho Monreal announces retirement from football

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Former Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal has announced his retirement from professional football after a knee injury kept him out of action last season.

Monreal made 251 appearances for the Gunners before signing a two-year deal with LaLiga side Real Sociedad in 2019.

The 36-year-old went on to made 69 appearances over two seasons with the Spanish giants before sustaining a knee injury that ruled him out of the 2021-2022 campaign.

Sociedad made the decision to release Monreal in May 2022 and the Spanish defender decided to hang up his boots as a result.

He took to social media to announce his decision to retire – claiming he ‘cannot continue’ because of his knee.

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

‘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.

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Several players have reached out to Monreal, offering their former team-mate messages of support following his announcement.

Hector Bellerin, who played alongside Monreal at Arsenal, took to social media to say: ‘Congrats on the career and the person you are bro’.

Real Sociedad’s Aritz Elustondo added: ‘What a pleasure it was to share the locker room with you.’