“My time has come.
It's already been 12 years away from home and I feel very accomplished and grateful.
I feel like it's time to go back and be close to my family, enjoy their company.
I think about what I have done and what it has cost”.
Just as sensitive as when he was a child and educational as an adult, Bojan Krkic has announced at the 1899 Auditorium of FC Barcelona, surrounded by the eleven shirts he has worn -nine for clubs and two for national teams- and the 10 trophies won at Camp Nou, his retirement as a professional player, waiting for one last game to play with the Catalan team and that the Catalan Football Federation is already negotiating.
Accompanied by Barça president Joan Laporta and his friend Gerard Piqué, Bojan recounted his experience while announcing his intention to continue to be linked to football, presumably from management, exemplary as his case may be for the youngsters of La Masia, to whom who recommended "tranquility and patience along the way."
"Although you feel prepared footballingly, a wave comes to you that you have to assimilate," he added.
"You have to give value to each formative stage, and that does not depend on the player," he added after specifying that his were not words dedicated to Ansu Fati
It was not precisely by chance that the act, as simple as it was endearing, ended the poem
Caminante no hay camino
by Antonio Machado.
"The path is made by walking", was heard in the Auditorium with the voice of Joan Manuel Serrat.
Bojan Krkic has stopped going around the world with the ball at his feet at the age of 32, three years less than Leo Messi, today world champion and PSG footballer.
The Catalan player, born in Linyola (Lleida), had to compete during his time at Barcelona, from when he was an eight-year-old youngster who arrived from Bellpuig until 2011, with the label of being "the new Messi".
A mistake impossible to combat even for an early goalscorer who decided to leave the Camp Nou to embark on a journey that began in Rome in 2011 with Luis Enrique as coach and ended with Andrés Iniesta as a teammate at Kobe.
He has played for Barça, Roma, Milan, Ajax, Stoke City, Mainz 05, Alavés, Montreal and Vissel, he has competed in three different confederations (UEFA, Concacaf and the Asian AFC), he has won the different titles to which he can aspire a footballer -ten with Barça- and still maintains a record of precociousness and also that of being the first Spaniard to score in the four major leagues (La Liga, Serie A, the Premier and the Bundesliga) since 2017. An extraordinary curriculum as long as it is not compared to Messi's, that false 9 that allowed no competition at Barça and less than a real 9 like Bojan.
Managing expectations was never easy for that unruly striker, with the face of a child and who responded to Barça's ideal of
bon hereu català
An anxiety disorder ended his international career, famous as a youth, at a time when he was the subject of dispute by the senior teams of Serbia and Spain.
Bojan, son of a former Yugoslav international from Red Star and former Mollerussa player in Second A in the 1988-1989 academic year, got dizzy on February 6, 2008, on the eve of making his debut in a match against France at La Rosaleda, and then he learned that the best decision was to give up the Eurocup.
He did not have any gastroenteritis -as reported- nor did he refuse to play for Spain.
Anxiety could with Bojan.
The help of the psychologist and the medical treatment allowed Bojan to play and score many goals until he reached Kobe.
Today, his career is a reference for those players who face a similar situation, none as evident as Ansu Fati, the footballer who inherited Messi's 10 shirt and who has broken some of Bojan's records, whose professional debut with FC Barcelona was in the 2007-2008 season with Frank Rijkaard after scoring 960 goals in Barça's lower teams.
Bojan's progression with Barça is better seen with the number on his shirt than by the contracts after wearing numbers 27, 11 and 9, not Messi's 10, whom he replaced on the day of his debut in the Champions League. on September 19, 2007, against Olympique de Lyon.
Barely 20 years old, he became the youngest Barça player to reach 100 matches in the First Division and was a protagonist in Barça's different seasons: the 2009 Cup won against Athletic carried his signature and his goals -12-, above all in Villarreal and Sevilla they helped win the 2009-2010 League.
Bojan added more at the end than Ibrahimovic.
He scored 41 goals in 163 games with Barça and, however, one of the most remembered was the non-goal he scored against Inter in the 2010 Champions League semifinals.
The referee annulled the goal due to a handball by Yaya Touré and Barça was eliminated from a tournament of which Bojan has bittersweet memories because he did not participate in the finals won in Rome-2009 and Wembley-2011.
He was not a starter nor did he take the field from the bench where he was sitting next to coach Pep Guardiola.
Neither Guardiola nor Messi was mentioned during an act that ended with a video that collected the admiration of athletes like Rafa Nadal.
The protagonist is Bojan and how the player felt was more important than how others saw him at the Camp Nou.
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