Spaniard Chico Flores thanks special club after leaving Swansea City
7th August 2014
Chico Flores has reflected fondly on his time at Swansea City following his move to Qatari champions Lekhwiya.
The Spaniard ended his two-year spell at the Liberty by reuniting with former Swans boss Michael Laudrup at the Doha-based club.
Chico, who arrived at the Swans for £2million from Italian side Genoa in July 2012, helped the Swans lift the Capital One Cup in 2013 along with reaching the Europa League last 32 last season.
Domestically, he featured prominently as the Swans finished ninth and 12 in the Premier League during his time at SA1.
And the 27-year-old, who scored four goals in 75 appearances in all competitions for the Swans, admits he's leaving a special club.
"I have a mixture of emotions because I am sad to leave Swansea, but it is also another exciting challenge for me at Lekhwiya," said the centre-back.
"I have been here two years and the fans, my team-mates and staff at the club have been so nice to me.
"It feels like I am leaving my family. The club is special because everyone makes you feel good and welcome every single day.
"I have really enjoyed my time here. When we won the cup it was one of the best moments in my career.
"Seeing the joy on the faces of the fans around the city was special for me. It meant so much to them and us players to be lifting the cup, and we did it together.
"Playing in the Europa League was also a great achievement for the club and myself too. We did very well and we can be proud of what we achieved in the competition.
"I think I can look back at my time here and be proud of what we achieved together as a club."
Chico made 32 appearances in his first season at the Liberty, scoring his first goal in the 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield in the Capital One Cup.
He would miss the final due to injury, though he returned to action to help the Swans finish ninth - its highest standing in the Premier League - while his performances earned him the Best Newcomer of the Year accolade at the club's end-of-season awards night.
Last season, Chico featured 43 times - scoring three goals - in all competitions as the club finished 12th in the top flight while the Europa League adventure ended in the last 32 stage following defeat to Napoli.
While he bids farewell to SA1 and the Premier League, Chico insists he will be following the Swans' fortunes closely.
And he expects them to enjoy another fine campaign.
"I will always follow Swansea's results. I will not forget what this club has done for me," said Chico.
"I hope the club have another great season. In my time here we have had two very successful years, but I'm sure the team can continue that."
He added: "I want to say thank you very much to all the fans, because I will never forget their support.
"And, finally, I want to thank my team-mates and the staff at the club for everything they have done for me.
"I am leaving the Premier League - the best league in the world - and I have really enjoyed my experience at Swansea, but I am looking forward to my new challenge.
"They are the Qatari champions and it is a very good standard."