Former Swansea striker Michu has been forced to quit football at the age of 31.
The once-capped Spain international has suffered from a persistent ankle problem which limited him to only 12 starts for Real Oviedo in Spain’s Segunda Division last season.
“According to medical reports, the current situation of my right ankle has come to a point where it has forced me to say goodbye as a professional football player today,” Michu said in a statement on Twitter.
“Even though I am saying farewell to you with so much sorrow, I know that we will always be united.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the magical moments that you have given to me during all this time.
“I feel privileged to have fulfilled a dream that is shared by so many of us since childhood. The dream of becoming a professional player in this sport.
“Because of you, the public have given me an invaluable affection that I will never be able to repay. Indeed, I feel I have done nothing to deserve it all.”
Thanks for the memories ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/ml6NtdFwvw
— Michu (@Michuoviedo) July 25, 2017
Michu scored 16 goals in 37 league games for Rayo Vallecano in the 2011-12 season to earn a move to the Premier League.
Swansea, then managed by Michael Laudrup, paid £2 million in July 2012 and he quickly proved a bargain
After 28 goals in 67 Swansea appearances, and with Laudrup having been replaced by Garry Monk, Michu joined Napoli on loan in July 2014.
But he played only five games in Italy as injuries struck again and, after after cutting his ties at Swansea, headed home to spend a final season at Oviedo after initially building up his fitness in Spain’s fourth tier with Langreo.