Jose Enrique says ‘it comes with a very heavy heart’ as he announces his retirement from professional football.
He managed 27 second tier appearances for Real Zaragoza last season but ongoing knee problems have forced him to pack it in at the age of only 31.
After leaving Newcastle for Liverpool in a £6m move in summer 2011, Jose Enrique made 58 Premier League starts over the course of his first two seasons but only eight in the following three years.
In the relegation season (2015/16), Enrique was on the verge of a return to Newcastle as United were struggling for defenders, Liverpool were prepared to release him but NUFC wouldn’t pay the wages asked for.
Easily Fat Sam’s best signing (not great competition!), Jose Enrique (like a few others) really found his feet in the Championship season of 2009/10 and excelled when playing 36 Premier League matches in 2010/11.
A decent defender and excellent on the ball, he and Jonas Gutierrez had an unorthodox but excellent partnership, which usually saw Jose Enrique providing most of the threat going forward and Jonas filling in behind him defensively when required.
When leaving for Liverpool, Enrique upset many fans when saying it was because of the lack of ambition at the club, with Mike Ashley to blame because he wasn’t willing to keep the club’s best players and build the club/team up.
Ironic that we are at a point now where many Newcastle fans are very passionate in saying they wouldn’t blame Rafa Benitez for walking away because of that lack of backing/ambition from Ashley.
At the end of the day though, no fan wants to see one of their best players walk away and saying how rubbish their club is, even if they know in reality the owner has made a joke of Newcastle United.
“It comes with a very heavy heart today to announce my retirement from professional football.
“It’s been a very hard decision to take and accept.
“I would of loved to have played more years at my best level if my body would of let me but all good things have to come to an end and more in football.
“I just want to say a huge thanks to all of the fans and clubs who have supported me throughout my career.
“You have been the best!
“I have been blessed to play for some of the best teams in the world, with some of the best players in the world. these memories will stay with me forever.