Former Newcastle United defender José Enrique retires

The Spanish left-back joined Liverpool from the Magpies in 2011 with much promise. However, six years later, a knee injury has put an early end to his career.

Former Newcastle United defender José Enrique retires
(Photo: GettyImages/ Michael Regan)

Former Newcastle United left-back José Enrique has retired from football at the age of 31.

Enrique was released by Liverpool in 2016 and spent last season playing for La Liga outfit, Real Zaragoza.

Despite making 27 appearances last term, the Spaniard revealed he has been suffering from a knee injury, which has resulted in him calling time on his career.

Retirement message

Enrique confirmed his retirement on Wednesday morning and said it “comes with a very heavy heart.”

"It's been a very hard decision to take and accept.” said Enrique.

“I would have loved to have played more years at my best level if my body would have let me but all good things have to come to an end and more in football.”

Enrique played for Villarreal, Newcastle, Liverpool and Real Zaragoza before being forced to hang his boots up. 

The 31-year-old paid tribute to all the fans he has played in front of, calling them “the best”.

He commented: "I just want to say a huge thanks to all of the fans and clubs who have supported me throughout my career. You have been the best!"

"I have been blessed to play for some of the best teams in the world, with some of the best players in the world. These memories will stay with me forever."

Embed from Getty Images

Newcastle pay best wishes

His former club sent their best wishes via their official Twitter account by saying “best wishes to former Magpies full-back Jose Enrique, who has announced his retirement from football today."

He replied by saying "thanks a lot. It has been a pleasure to play for this amazing club with this amazing fans. I have great memories I will never forget all the best."

Enrique explained about his knee problems to Marca newspaper: "I saw five doctors in England, but they didn’t find the problem. It hurts me, but so many times they told me that it was a psychological problem that I came to believe it.”

He left England when he was released by Liverpool, where he admitted he “had to escape to Spain” because he couldn’t even walk or compete.

Enrique added: "I had an anxiety attack and thought, 'what the hell is wrong with me?' I did not understand it."

Enrique proceeded to seek more assistance when he returned to Spain and was given surgery to help save his career, but it sadly wasn’t enough.

The left-back admitted he “was never the same” after he “had been playing for three months with a broken meniscus.”