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Former Manchester City captain Fernandinho has completed a transfer to Athletico Paranaense, returning to the first club of his career.
Fernandinho made it clear a while back that the 2021-22 season would be his last with Manchester City. At the end of June, he would become a free agent after nine years of service to the club.
A return to Brazilian footballer was widely speculated for the holding midfielder. There were a few options on the table, but an emotional one seemed to be returning to Athletico Paranaense.
That is ultimately the route he has taken, representing a reunion with the first club he ever played for.
Athletico Paranaense have unveiled Fernandinho as their own again on Monday evening. He will wear the number five shirt.
The Brazil international previously played for the club between 2003 and 2005, before venturing to Europe with Shakhtar Donetsk. His move to Manchester City would follow in 2013.
Fernandinho won an abundant amount of medals with City. But now, he is going back where it all began as his career winds down.
At a press conference, he confirmed that this two-year deal with Athletico Paranaense will be the last of his career before he retires.
“Without a doubt, I am fulfilling a personal wish, a dream to wear the Athletico shirt again,” he said (via the Manchester Evening News).
“Establish a brand that will end my career playing for just three clubs: two in Europe and one in Brazil.”
Athletico Paranaense president welcomes Fernandinho back
For Athletico president Mario Celso Petraglia, the Brazilian side are welcoming back their finest ever export.
“Athletico’s dream is coming true, to return to his home,” he said. “We kept in touch all these years, since he was sold to Shakhtar Donetsk. We follow his spectacular career.
“He was, without demerit to the others, the athlete who had the most prominence among those who passed here. Kleberson was five-time world champion, but he didn’t have the career that Fernandinho managed to develop.
“It will help us in this level change that we are working on.
“Getting Fernandinho in was not easy. He showed from the first moment that his intention was to return to Athletico. But the pressure of the whole world and of several Brazilian clubs, wanting to have him in the group. He remained faithful, the good son to the house makes.”
Fernandinho departs City with 383 appearances behind him and is their most decorated player of all time.
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The article Fernandinho fulfils ‘dream’ by signing last contract of his career after Man City exit appeared first on Teamtalk.com.