Brighton & Hove Albion captain Bruno believes Sunday’s match against Manchester City at the Amex Stadium provides the perfect scenario for his final game, after El Capitan announced his decision to retire earlier today.
The 38-year-old will close the final chapter of his playing career against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League title-chasers, and he reflected on his decision to hang up his boots, before looking ahead to an emotional occasion at the Amex.
He said, “It’s been a fairytale. There have been ups and downs, but always in a good way. It’s been an unbelievable journey since day one, I’ve always been happy here.
“I would be lying if I said it was an easy decision. It’s a decision that was made a few months ago, but I wanted to let family, friends, the gaffer, team-mates and the fans know at the right time.
“I wanted to announce the news when we were safe and sound. It took longer than I was expecting, but I think it’s the perfect scenario.
“I will be retiring at the Amex, with my family, friends and everyone there, against a big team like Manchester City. I will try to enjoy every single minute and it will be a special day.”
Bruno has played more than 200 matches for the club since arriving in 2012 from Valencia, and the skipper showed his appreciation for the unconditional support Albion’s fans have always shown him.
“I’ll never be able to give back what the fans have given to me. Since day one they’ve looked after me and given me so much love.
“For a player, it’s so important, and I’ve always felt at home since 2012. I want to say thank you to every single one of them — they’ve been outstanding.
“Brighton & Hove is my home and my future is here. I’ll talk with the club and make a decision. The club has been really good with me — I’m really grateful for that and will always be in debt to the club and city.”
The defender concluded by discussing the desired effect he’s had on his team-mates, before assessing what the future holds for the football club, ahead of their third season in the Premier League.
“My way to be a captain is to try and make more captains in the changing room. We’ve got a lot of players who step up in tough situations, and that shows their character.
“I feel so proud of players like Dunky for example — when I came here he was a young player with great potential and he’s worked so hard to achieve what he has.
“We’ve got so much potential in the squad. We need to look at what we’ve done wrong this season and find where we can improve.
“I think the team will do that, we’ve done it almost every season since I came here. The future is so bright for this team and club.”