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Diego Godin Confirms Atletico Madrid Exit Amid Inter Milan Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on April 27, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the current campaign.

The Uruguay international revealed he will not be signing a new contract at a press conference on Tuesday in front of manager Diego Simeone and his team-mates:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Godin starts to talk to press, while very emotional, with: “I’m more nervous than for any game, it's the truth…” https://t.co/Pzf6TaLbrG

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Godin fighting back more tears: “These are going to be my last days at Atletico Madrid.”

Atlético de Madrid @atletienglish

© CAPTAIN 😊 EXAMPLE 👏 LEADER 🇺🇾 U RU GUA YO! 💪 DETERMINATION 🤝 COMMITMENT 📜 LEGEND 9⃣ seasons in Red & White 🔴⚪🔴 #GraciasGodín! #AúpaAtleti https://t.co/jNHZCoAV76

Club president Enrique Cerezo was full of praise for the 33-year-old, who joined the Madrid outfit in 2010:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Cerezo takes over “This is a very special day for Atletico Madrid, the whole family have come together to say goodbye to you Diego, an extraordinary player who gave everything over nine seasons."

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Cerezo to Godin: "You have been a great example both on and off the pitch during this best ever stage of our club. Your gestures - like the goal at the Camp Nou which was worth a La Liga title - deserve to be recognised forever.

Speculation has gathered pace throughout the season regarding a possible departure from the Wanda Metropolitano for Godin. According to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, the centre-back is set to sign for Serie A outfit Inter Milan.

Should he make the switch, Inter will be getting an exceptional player. Even at 33, Godin is considered one of the best centre-backs in the world, having made incredible progress in nearly a decade at Atletico.

The defender has been crucial to the success enjoyed by Simeone's side, helping them win numerous prizes in his time at the club:

B/R Football @brfootball

OFFICIAL: Diego Godin confirms he is leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of the season https://t.co/2dn0vUcVCJ

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While he turned in many colossal defensive displays, Godin's most significant moment in an Atletico shirt came in 2014, when he scored an equalising goal on the final day of the La Liga season against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. It was enough to clinch a shock title win for Los Rojiblancos.

At the base of the team he was an immense presence in that season, as well as in many more campaigns. Godin is a pure defender, as he rarely loses physical battles, is alert to danger and astute in his positioning on the field.

Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge summed up just how important Godin has been under Simeone:

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

It’s easy to forget Godín was hardly impeccable with Villarreal, if anything he was quite shaky. At Atleti however, he became one of the best CBs in the world and helped change the history of the club. 13/14 and 14/15 seasons from him were phenomenal.

Speaking about his decision to leave the club at the end of this season, Godin revealed he turned down a move to Manchester United ahead of the current campaign:

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Diego Godin: "I refused Manchester United bid one year ago because I decided to stay at Atlético Madrid. Now - one year later - it's time to go". He has already signed his contract with Inter. 🔴 #Atleti #MUFC #transfers

Atletico have two games to play in La Liga, with Sunday's match at the Wanda Metropolitano against Sevilla set to be Godin's last in front of the Atletico supporters. Their final game of the campaign will be against relegation-threatened Levante.

Should he move to Inter, Godin will add more depth to what is an impressive group of centre-backs. Manager Luciano Spalletti already has Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar and Miranda to call upon.

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