Thiago Alcantara, who left Barcelona to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich in a €25 million deal this month, has written to fans to thank them for their support.
Thiago, 22, used his personal Twitter account to say: “I didn’t want to end my time at Barca without saying goodbye to you, those who have always been there”.
The midfielder thanked everyone at the club for helping him develop as a footballer and also had a message of support for Tito Vilanova, who stood down as Barca manager on Friday due to illness.
“Leaving the club that took me under its wings as a 14-year-old… it was a difficult decision that I gave a lot of thought to,” he wrote.
“Barca and everyone involved with the club have given me everything. They have helped me grow, mature and learn from the good and bad times.
“Team-mates, coaching staff, employees, fans, especially the fans… who make this club great after victories and defeats. Thank you all for these last few years. Thank you to those who have been at my side during the most difficult times.”
Thiago ended with a show of support for Vilanova, who was forced to leave the dugout last week to continue his treatment for throat cancer. “Like we said to Abi [Eric Abidal]: ‘When there are rocks blocking your way, hold onto them all and one day you’ll build a castle.’ No one has any doubt that you will get through this,” he wrote.