Borussia Möchengladbach player Alvaro Dominguez has been forced to end his football career due to a back injury. He made the announcement via social media prior to Gladbach's Champions League game in Barcelona.
The Spanish defender used his Twitter and Facebook accounts to announce to his fans on Tuesday night that he had given up the fight to return to action in the Bundesliga due to recurring back problems.
"It's not pleasant news to say that I am a sports invalid at 27," Dominguez said, adding that he had made every effort to return to fitness, but this had been in vain.
Dominguez, whose last appearance in the Bundesliga came in November of 2015, underwent his first back surgery that same month, and was limited to just six games last season. He went under the knife for a second time in September, but to no avail.
"Today, I have to say farewell to you and to the sport that was my passion," he said in the video message directed specifically at the fans of Mönchengladbach, as well as his former team, Atletico Madrid. "I hope we see each other soon.
Gladbach coach André Schubert paid tribute to his former player during the press conference that followed their 4-0 defeat in Barcelona on Tuesday night.
"Alvaro was extremely important to us, not just because of his footballing qualities but also because of his personality," Schubert said. "We are all saddened by the fact that he has had to end his career early. He definitely could have played a few more years at a very high level."
Dominguez, who moved to Gladbach in the 2012 summer transfer window, made 106 appearances and scored three goals for the Foals.
He was part of the Atletico Madrid teams that won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012 and represented Spain at the 2012 London Olympic Games.