AC Milan's Mark van Bommel was in tears as he revealed today that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season. The 35-year-old Dutchman will thus join the likes of fellow veterans Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Nesta in moving on to pastures new. Clarence Seedorf and Gianluca Zambrotta are widely tipped to also leave this summer.
"I'm leaving Milan. I was only here a year and a half so for me it's easier to say goodbye than players like Gattuso, Nesta and Inzaghi," a tearful van Bommel told Milan's official television channel. "That's the way life is - the time comes when you have to leave. When I arrived here, everyone told me this club is like a family and it's true, it is."
Van Bommel joined from Bayern Munich in January 2011 and helped Milan to a first league title since 2004 last season. He was one of the main reasons the club allowed Andrea Pirlo to leave a year ago, as Van Bommel had taken his place in the side.
Van Bommel is expected to return to his former club PSV Eindhoven, where he spent six years after joining from Fortuna Sittard and before moving to Barcelona. The tough-tackling Dutch international has won league titles in four different countries during his career, winning the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2006 and reaching another final with Bayern Munich in 2010.
He was twice named Dutch Player of the Year and has won a total of eight league titles, as well as a Dutch second division crown with Fortuna.