Good afternoon everyone,

Today I want to tell you my story. Now is the moment to share the news about a decision that I’ve been processing, analyzing, and preparing to make for a while.

The day has arrived to say goodbye to fútbol, a profession that has given me so much, and one that I feel privileged to have lived with its good and bad moments. It all began when I was very young in my neighborhood, my school, with Club Atlético Palermo, to whom I’m eternally grateful because it helped me have a marvelous childhood where I met spectacular people. From the coaches to my teammates from the class of ‘87, with whom I hold unforgettable memories; they’re family, friends who I love very much as people with whom I grew with and lived those unforgettable moments I just mentioned.

From there I kept growing and learning at a massive club like River Plate, where I started in the infantiles, inferiores, the reserve team, all the way through debuting in the first division at just 17 years old in May 2005. Not everything was easy, there was a moment in the eighth division in which I played very little because I was skinny and not too tall. At that moment I felt that they were going to drop me from the club. My feeling was that my dream was ending because I only wanted to play for River, and if it wasn’t River the most likely outcome was that I would quit fútbol. I remember that we had to walk to the academy manager’s office and he would make the decision on if you would continue with the club the following year. Even though the distance was short, my walk was very long and bleak because it felt like it was all ending. When I entered the director Ruben Rossi’s office and he told me that I didn’t play much because of my physical attributes, but he really believed in my talent to continue the next year, that news gave me a huge boost because my dream was still standing.

Then came the long-awaited moment of every player, the moment to play for the first team. It was beautiful to play in a full stadium, they were memories I’ll never forget. The River vs. Boca clásico at the Monumental also comes to mind, and the Copa Libertadores Round of 16 match against Corinthians in Brazil. In both matches I was able to score two goals and we won 3-1. I was really young playing in such important matches, just 17/18 years old, with thousands of emotions passing through my head. They were really emotional moments for me.

A little after that came Real Madrid to ask about me and the rumors got more and more real. There was a particular moment where my dad came to my home while I was asleep and said, “Gonzalo, Gonzalo, Real Madrid is going to buy you.” And I, half asleep, told him, “ah ok, tell me about it after,” saying I wasn’t in the mood to hear those jokes. But the news was true. That’s how Real Madrid bought me when I was just 19 years old. When I knew I was going to a locker room full of stars, on the plane my dad told me a phrase that helped me a lot. He told me, “when you get there you have to have respect and admiration, but never fear because then you won’t continue on this path. If they bought you it's because they believe in you. Your teammates are just like you, just with already accomplished careers, but they’re like you. So believe in yourself, but always have respect, and everything will go well for you.” That’s how it went, and I played almost seven years at Real Madrid. I was able to play for the best team in history for so long at such a young age. It was a beautiful period.

Then came the moment to go to Napoli in Italy, a team I’ll always be grateful to for everything we lived together, and for the way they treated me. The third year was one of the best of my career thanks to the coach and my teammates. It was beautiful to have played for that club. They were moments you can’t erase.

I only have words of enormous gratitude for everybody from the Argentinian national team, with whom I shared nine years of my career playing friendlies, tournaments, World Cups and Copa Américas. I lived some of the best moments of my career with them, something beyond my imagination, indelible and beautiful. Representing your country is a singular feeling. I met so many great people, all I can say is THANK YOU.

[When I was at Napoli] Juventus arrived ready to play my release clause, another European giant. That they wanted to pay so much for me was incredible, making me the most expensive transfer for an Argentine player in history. They were beautiful moments with the kindness of the people and my teammates. I felt privileged for everything that was happening to me. From there I had brief moves to Milan and Chelseal it’s true they were very short periods, but I enjoyed them to the maximum and I had great moments at each, and I met great people despite my short time at the clubs.

Now it’s time to express my gratitude to Inter Miami for believing in me and signing me, because I found a country, a city and a people who are really special here. I’ve also experienced beautiful moments here and thanks to this Club we achieved the dream of my family and of my mother, who was going through a really delicate moment, and before she passed she was able to see me and Fede play together again like when we were little. We felt that it was a great wish accomplished, so, thank you again to Inter Miami. It was really beautiful to be able to play with Fede.

I want to thank each technical staff that coached me: Club Palermo, River Plate, Real Madrid, Argentina, Napoli, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, and finally, Inter Miami. I also want to thank each physio, equipment person, kitchen staff, PR staff, and administrator, they’re people you don’t see but they make a huge effort so that everything goes well. Also my teammates, friends, family, the fans of each team, and the Argentine national team for the kindness they’ve all shown me. I’ll take beautiful moments with me in my head and in my heart. I had an unthinkable career and achieved more than I could imagine.

To finish, I want to say a few special words to my beloved partner and daughter, who are the motors of my life, without them nothing would have any meaning. Seeing them on the field and hugging them after a goal is something uniquely special. Thank you for always being there, for helping me improve as a person, I love you with all my heart. To my family, my mom and my dad, my brothers who were also really important to my life and career, and to my friends who have known me for more than 15 years who know what they mean to me, thank you. 

After a professional career of 17 and a half years, the most beautiful career you can have, I feel fútbol has given me so much and I have given so much of myself to and more.

Thank you to those who always believed in me. 

Thank you for your attention.

The time has come to say goodbye.