Eric Garcia has explained his decision to ‘return home’ to Barcelona as he thanked Manchester City for furthering his football education.
The centre-back, 20, will sign a five-year deal at the Nou Camp when his City contract expires, after telling the Blues of his intention not to extend that deal last year.
Ending a four-year association with City after joining from Barcelona’s La Masia academy in 2017, Garcia worked his way up through the academy at the CFA to make 35 appearances for the first team.
However, only 12 of those came this season, as he found himself down at fifth-choice centre-back under Pep Guardiola.
Now, Garcia has penned a classy message to City fans and backroom staff at the club as he alluded to ‘great moments and not so good’ moments at the Etihad.
He wrote: “Hi everyone, my time as a Cityzen has reached its end. After four incredible years in which I’ve had the opportunity to develop both as a player and as a person, it’s time to move on.
“First of all, I would like to thank those at the academy who placed their trust in me. Thank you to all the managers and all their staff for helping me to improve and for preparing me for the next step up the ladder in my career.
“I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to all the people behind the scenes: the kitchen staff, the houseparents, backroom staff, education team, drivers, receptionists and so on who all made me feel very much at home. I will always be grateful to you all.
“It’s thanks to all of the above that I had the opportunity to get to the first team. There have been many great moments, as well as some not so good, but such rich experience has all served towards my football ‘apprenticeship’.
“Finally, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the fans who have encouraged and supported me throughout the years here. Although I have decided to return home, I shall always remain a fan of this great club.”
Among those replying to the post were teammates Gabriel Jesus, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Nathan Ake, Zack Steffen and Adrian Bernabe.
Speaking to Barcelona, Garcia said: “I’m extremely happy to be here, it’s a dream come true to be playing for this club. Hopefully we can win big things next season and in the future.
“I had the chance to live a fantastic experience there. I’m grateful to Pep and all the coaching staff that helped me a lot and given me the chance to play and in the end come back here.
“I will try and help the team as much as I can and also try to win as many trophies as I can to share with the fans.”