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Tiago won’t accept new Atletico offer: I can’t play at that level anymore

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The 36-year-old bids farewell to the Vicente Calderon against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday

Villarreal CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Tiago Mendes is set to leave Atletico Madrid this summer after 227 games and seven years at the club, according to Mundo Deportivo. There will be eras end left, right and centre at the Vicente Calderon as the club bid farewell to the Vicente Calderon too.

As always, Tiago was humble and proud in his reasoning behind not accepting a new contract:

It is the moment to make a devision. I can finish my career or play in another league a little less competitive. I am in a moment of reflection and I will decide soon. It is not an option to renew with Atletico. I could never accept a new contract at Atletico in my conditions.

I can’t sign for another season because I feel I am not at the level of my teammates. It is in the middle of field of this team that you can never surrender. I played in two finals of the Champions with the eternal rival and didn’t give into defeat.

The 36-year-old played suffered a broken leg against Espanyol in February of 2015 and he says the setbacks and physical limitations that he suffered from that were unique at that point in his life and he had never experienced anything like it.

Coach Tiago?

He has not ruled out coaching, however, as Diego Simeone says he would make a very good one.

At the start of my career, I said I would only play until I was 32 and would never be a coach. But when I got to 30, I started to think about the possibility of being a coach. Maybe it is this time that an urge to coach start to wake up inside me. Simeone has recommended me as a coach, maybe it’s because he saw leadership skills in me.

Club Atletico de Madrid - Training & Press Conference Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images