Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo's departure from Galatasaray was made official on Thursday, with the Turkish side announcing the expiration of his contract and posting photos of his emotional goodbye on social media.
The 33-year-old, who produced three goals and seven assists in 65 appearances with the club, was photographed with tears in his eyes at his last training session with head coach Fatih Terim and his teammates.
"I am really confused today. I am happy and sad. I am sad because I have been here for two and a half years, I spent two and a half years full of success," Nagatomo told Galatasaray Television.
"Today is my last day in Galatasaray, but Galatasaray will remain in the best part of my heart. I want to thank the Turkish people. Not only to Galatasaray fans, but all Turkish people."
He then took to social media and shared a few group pictures featuring him with teammates, as well as one with Terim to whom he wrote, "Thank you my father. I love you."
"Thank you for my amazing friends. I will never forget you. Good luck guys," Nagatomo said in another tweet.
最高の仲間たち。— Yuto Nagatomo | 長友佑都 (@YutoNagatomo5) July 2, 2020
Thank you for my amazing friends 😘
I will never forget you 🙏🙏
Good luck guys 👍 pic.twitter.com/lS7qo00MyL
The club paid tribute to Nagatomo by sharing a video on its official social media accounts, with his coach and teammates recording heartfelt farewell messages.
Nagatomo has played left back for Samurai Blue since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and joined the Turkish Super League powerhouse in January 2018 from Inter Milan, where he had played since January 2011.
Through the end of last season, Nagatomo contributed to consecutive Super League titles. Since this past winter, however, he has been unable to get playing time within the rules limiting the number of imported players allowed.
Nagatomo has 122 caps for Japan's senior national team.