Veteran midfielder Guti said Sunday that he was closing a "glorious stage" in his career as he parted ways with Real Madrid after 15 seasons with the Spanish giants.
"I believe you have to be aware that there are stages that close and in this case for me it is a very glorious stage at Real Madrid which is coming to an end," the 33-year-old told a news conference at the club's Bernabeu stadium.
Guti, who had another year on his contract, said he was considering an offer from Turkish side Besiktas, where he would be coached by German's Bernd Schuster, who managed Real between 2007 and 2008. "I have a good offer from them, an interesting one - now we will see," he said. "I think you have to make room for younger players and I know that football is like that. It is a complicated and difficult moment but you have to know that these things happen in football and that at certain moments, regardless of the talent you have, it is your time to leave a club or leave football and life goes on."
New Real coach Jose Mourinho had indicated that he was not counting on Guti, a product of the club's youth system who made his pro debut in 1995. He helped Real win five domestic league titles and three European Champions League titles, having scored 86 goals in 542 appearances for the club. Only eight other players have played more matches for the club in its history.
Guti, who can play as an attacking midfielder, striker or central midfielder, has also honour of being the man who scored the team's 5,000th goal. Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano thanked the player "for giving the best years of his life to this club. He is a unique player, a very special player who is capable of surprising during each match," he said as he sat beside Guti at the news conference."