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Leeds United legend Pablo Hernandez announces retirement from football

Former Leeds United playmaker Pablo Hernandez has called time on his footballing career, as announced on Instagram today.

The 38-year-old was initially brought to Leeds on loan from Al-Arabi, but the deal was made permanent in 2017.

Hernandez featured for the Whites more than any other club in his career, making a total of 175 appearances, scoring 36 times and providing 41 assists.

The Spaniard became talismanic for the West Yorkshire club, with his last-minute winner against Swansea City in 2020 often regarded by Leeds fans as the moment they knew their side had secured promotion to the Premier League, albeit unofficially.

Hernandez returned to his native Spain in the summer of 2021 following Leeds’ first season in the top-flight, as he signed for boyhood club Castellon, a lower-league Spanish side which he partly owns.

The news was confirmed by Hernandez himself on Instagram, alongside a caption which simply read ‘gracias’.

Reacting to the announcement, Castellon club president Bob Voulgaris said: “I am very grateful to Pablo for his commitment and performances on and off the pitch this past season, and I want to recognise what an extraordinary playing career he has had.

“I am delighted that Pablo will continue to be part of the club as an ambassador and advisor, and I am sure that he will contribute to our future success.”

As one Leeds United legend’s career draws to a close, the Elland Road faithful will hope that new ones are born this season as the club seek to regain their Premier League status following their relegation to the Championship last term.

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