Spain and ex-Atleti player Juan Carlos ‘El Flaco’ (The Thin One) Valerón has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season aged 41.
Here at AtleticoFans.com we want to commemorate a stunning career dedicated to hard work and dedications to the clubs he has graced.
Always humble, Valerón started his career at his beloved Las Palmas and is revered there on a similar level to our love for Torres. When he returned recently his reception was a sight to be seen. Despite missing three years once to injury he returned to Las Palmas aged 40.
His two seasons at the Calderón, 1998-2000, were not the greatest for him personally or for the club. “I was very saddened by the relegation to Segunda, but with the passage of time it fills me with pride to have worn the red and white strip. I had to live through a very tough period, the intervention in the club, but I believe at a personal level it helped me grow.”
In the capital Valerón learnt what it meant to be a true Colchonero. He had his highs such as beating Real Madrid 1-3 in the Bernabeu, beating Barcelona 6-0 in the Copa del Rey Semi Final in 2000, and of course the lows. Relegation in 2000, and two successive Copa del Rey final defeats to Valencia and Espanyol.
Even with his skinny frame he became renowned for his assisting ability. Setting up goals for players like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and Pichichi winners Diego Tristan and Roy Makaay. In fact Hasselbaink has said that he considered Valerón alongside Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Bergkamp as one of the greatest players he’d ever had the pleasure to play with.
His time with us was brief, but he cared and that’s what has always mattered in the Calderón. Best of luck Flaco!