Villarreal vet Venta to go

Veteran defender to leave Yellow Submarine in summer

Venta: To leave Villarreal

Villarreal stalwart Javi Venta is to leave the Spanish outfit in the summer after more than a decade at the club.

The veteran defender moved to the club in 1999 and has since established himself as a firm fans' favourite for his commitment to the cause.

The 34-year-old, who helped Villarreal to runners-up spot in the Primera Division two years ago, admits he does not know where he will be playing next season.

He said: "Next year I won't continue here and I simply wanted to publicly thank the club.

"I can only say that I leave very happy and proud to have played so many years in Villarreal.

Best wishes

"From now I wish them all the best and you could say that I am like one more fan.

"I have felt very loved as much by my team-mates as by the fans and this is the best memory I can take away with me.

"What happens is that a moment comes when things come to an end and that's it because I still have the desire to continue on playing.

"Villarreal have given me everything on a sporting level and I will always be grateful to them."

Venta spent his first season with Villarreal's reserve side before going out on loan. On his return, he has been at the heart of their back four for the past eight seasons.

European hope

The club currently hold the last Europa League spot, two points above Getafe with four games left to play, and Venta hopes he can help them secure a European berth.

He added: "Let's hope I can bid farewell by leaving Villarreal in a European competition.

"The only thorn in my side is not to have won any trophies, but I am convinced that sooner or later they have to come.

"I still don't have anything clear (about the future) but I just hope to find a team in which I am as happy as I have been in Villarreal."