Bruno Soriano had not played a game for his boyhood club Villarreal since May 2017 but on Monday the 36-year-old returned to action.
After making his debut in 2006, Soriano has spent all of his career with Villarreal. In fact, the Spanish midfielder holds the record with 418 for most appearances in club history.
But two operations and a lengthy recovery left the 36-year-old out of action.
However, now, Soriano finally returned to Sevilla in Monday’s 2-2 LaLiga draw at home after 1,128 days without football.
Soriano came off the bench at El Madrigal in the 88th minute, where he got a huge ovation from his team-mates, coaching staff and the president in the locker room.
“I don’t know what to say,” a tearful Soriano toldpost-match. “It’s been so long since I played that I almost don’t know what to say.
“I’m very happy, of course. I had tried to return many times and it wasn’t possible. It’s a massive joy for me and for all the people at the club and for my family.
Following more than three years on the sidelines, Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano revealed he considered retirement after making an emotional comeback.
Asked if he had ever considered retirement, Soriano replied: “There were some tough times where I thought that maybe the best thing was to stop because there had been many disappointments in a row. But now I’m going to try to help the team.”
“That’s best of all,” said head coach Javi Calleja. “Having him back and helping the team is very important for us.
“He’s an example of fighting back, we’re all very happy for his return and we hope to be able to count on him for the rest of the games.”