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Memphis Depay: Forward leaves Atletico Madrid with cryptic message

Depay last scored in the Champions League round of 16 in March

Memphis Depay playing football

Memphis Depay has said he will “keep that conversation for another time” in an announcement confirming the end of his career at Atletico Madrid, which he suggested “could have been very different”.

Netherlands forward Depay joined Atleti from Barcelona for around £2.6 million in January 2023 but was restricted to nine Liga starts in 2023/24, scoring nine goals in 31 appearances in all competitions.

Fourth-placed Atleti reportedly had an option to extend Depay’s contract until the end of 2024/25 but have released the 30-year-old.

“Not easy to say how I feel about writing this message because I feel that things could’ve been very different,” Depay wrote on social media alongside footage of him playing for the club and red and white heart emojis.

“Maybe it’s better to keep that conversation for another time. To Atletico Madrid, my team-mates, the staff and especially the fans, I want to thank you for the energy and support I’ve experienced in my time being a Atleti player. I keep the good memories close to my heart.”

Depay leaves Atletico Madrid

Team-mates Alvaro Morata, Axel Witsel, Rodrigo Riquelme and Samu Omorodion were among those to respond with messages of support.

Former Manchester United forward Depay missed 12 league matches and six of Atleti’s 10 Uefa Champions League games this season through injury.

He won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup with Barca in 2022/23 but only made four appearances across the campaign because of a thigh issue.

Oranje manager Ronald Koeman appeared to break the news of Depay’s search for a new club in a press conference earlier this week.

Koeman has named Depay in his squad for Uefa Euro 2024 this summer despite the long-serving international only returning to Netherlands action in March after a year out.

Depay, who has 90 caps and 44 goals, scored twice for his country on their way to a round-of-16 exit at Euro 2020.

The Netherlands play friendlies against Canada and Iceland before starting their campaign in Germany against Poland on June 16. They then face France on June 21 and Austria four days later.

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Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.