Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos got emotional as he bid farewell to the Los Blancos.
The Spaniard said he was offered a one-year contract, a 10 per cent reduction to his previous salary, he was holding out of a two-year deal, so his family could have continuity and tranquility, only to discover that the previous offer had been withdrawn.
Ramos said in a press conference: “The first thing I want to say is that I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay here.
“I said ‘okay’ but they told me the offer that was on the table had expired. I respect their decision but it was a surprise.
“I didn’t realize the offer had an expiry date. There will be many opinions about me but I’d prefer people to know the full story first and the president and club know it wasn’t about money, they offered me one year and I wanted two.
“There were some calls” when he entered the final six months of his contract in January but stressed “leaving Real Madrid was never on my mind.”
He added: “Life goes on, an era has finished and a new one is starting. Now is not the moment to talk about other clubs but we’ll find the right one for me.”
When asked if he could return to boyhood club Sevilla, Ramos dismissed the suggestion saying: “Sevilla is another club close to my heart and I had a marvelous time there but today I’m not contemplating that option and neither are they.”
The Club President, Florentino Perez thanked the player for his impact on the club saying that a legend like him will always be one of the club’s great ambassadors.
Perez said: “It’s not an easy day because you’ve been really special to me and you and I have lived and suffered through historic moments for Real Madrid.
“I wish you all the best and want you to know this will always be your home, a legend like you will always be one of this club’s great ambassadors.”
Ramos joined Real from Sevilla in 2005 and has won five league titles, two Copa del Reys, four Champions Leagues and four Club World Cups.