Real Sociedad have announced that they are planning a special farewell ahead of Xabi Prieto’s final home appearance for the club.
The 34-year-old midfielder is retiring at the end of the season after spending all 14 years of his professional career at the Basque team.
To wave him off into the sunset, Real will take to the pitch against Leganes on Saturday wearing a one-off club crest on their shirts – a custom badge featuring an embroidering of Prieto’s face, name and squad number.
Para algunos jugar toda la vida con el mismo escudo es el mejor título que se puede ganar. #EskerrikAskoXabi.
Eskerrik asko 10.
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) May 10, 2018
In a message posted on their official website, Sociedad explained the gesture thus:
Xabi has always carried the coat of arms of La Real, and La Real will have him on Saturday as a shield in his last game at the Estadio Anoeta.
Without wishing to mar any of the goodwill, the gushing tributes to Prieto look like they run the risk of slightly overshadowing the fact that veteran right-back Carlos Martinez will also be making his final home appearance for Real on the same day.
Martinez, 32, has been at Real four years longer than Prieto having joined the youth team in 1999.
He may have been besieged by injuries during his latter days, but still… a little harsh on the lad.