NYCFC Midfielder Andoni Iraola Announces Retirement 2
Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC defender Andoni Iraola (51) during the second half against the Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium. Toronto FC won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Frank Lampard announced his departure from New York City FC, Andoni Iraola said goodbye to professional soccer.

New York City FC midfielder Andoni Iraola officially announced his retirement from soccer on Thursday, ending a 16-year career that spanned from Spain to New York City.

The 34-year-old midfielder made 40 appearances in all competitions with the Blues since joining the club in the summer of 2015.

“I would like to thank everyone inside and outside of the club who has made me feel at home from the very first moment,” said Iraola in a statement Thursday morning.

“I have tried to give the best of me in all senses on and off the field. From this moment on, I will continue to support this club – now as a fan.”

He made his debut on July 12, 2015 in NYCFC’s 4-4 draw against Toronto FC. His debut, let alone his acquisition by the club, was originally overshadowed with what was supposed to be Frank Lampard’s official debut. However, with Lampard battling a calf strain, Iraola and Angelino took the spotlight.

“Andoni has been a fantastic servant to this football club and it’s been a pleasure to have coached such a dedicated and talented player,” said head coach Patrick Vieira said in the press release.

Iraola worked his way into professional soccer through the ranks of Bilbao’s youth system, spending 12 seasons with Athletic Bilbao, appearing in nearly 500 matches for the club. He also made seven caps for Spain’s national team, playing for the country from 2008-2011.

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