Angel Rangel, one of Swansea City’s finest ever servants, is to leave the Liberty Stadium at the end of the season.
Rangel’s contract is up this summer and will not be renewed, with the fans’ favourite now planning to extend his playing career elsewhere.
Rangel is to depart after 11 years’ sterling service to the Swans cause, although he hopes to return to the club in some capacity when his days as a player are over.
The 35-year-old will be remembered as one of the Swans’ finest ever right-backs, if not the best the club have ever had.
He has played 373 games since joining the Swans from Spanish semi-pro side Terrassa for a fee of just £10,000 back in 2007.
Rangel had never played professional football at that stage, but he quickly established himself as a Swans regular having made the move to Wales.
He helped Roberto Martinez’s team romp to the League One title in his first season at the club, and was also a stalwart of the Swans side which won promotion to the Premier League in 2011.
Rangel took the step up to the highest level in his stride and played his part in some of the greatest days in the Swans’ history.
Having skippered the Swans on a number of occasions over the years – he first did so in the unforgettable 3-0 Europa League win in Valencia – Rangel was made club captain earlier this season when Leon Britton stepped up to Paul Clement’s coaching staff.
And he admits it is not easy to face the prospect of no longer being a Swans player come the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
“My feelings are mixed,” Rangel said.
“I am very proud to have played for 11 seasons for the club who gave me the opportunity to become a professional footballer and who made my dream of playing in the Premier League come true.
“I came here as a 24-year-old when the club were in League One. 11 years later I have played more in the Premier League than in all the other divisions.
“That gives me a lot of pride and happiness, but also there is sadness because you don’t think this day will ever come.
“The years go by so fast and you don’t realise it is a very short career.
“The older you get, the more difficult it is to accept. But you have to be realistic and I have to be proud of what I have achieved at this club.”
A model professional, Rangel will now assess his options as he looks to continue his playing career for a couple more seasons.
He had hoped to play for the Swans until his retirement, but feels it is time to move on having made only six appearances in 2017-18.
“I know this season has been difficult for me,” he added.
“I haven’t had many games so it is difficult for the club to give me another extension, I understand that.
“But I keep myself fit, I still feel good and I want to play for as long as my body can take it.
“I will look somewhere else for one or two more seasons. When I am 37 or 38 it will be time to call it a day and hopefully I will come back and help the Swans in another way.
“Until then, I will always be looking at Swansea’s results.
“This is my club. I have been lucky enough to be a player for Swansea and now I will be a fan.
“I will always want the club to do well. Hopefully, when I finish playing, I will be a season-ticket holder at the Liberty and I will be able to watch a successful team because I am a Jack.”