Long-time Auckland City defender and captain Angel Berlanga has announced his retirement as a player after a record 219 appearances for the champion club.
Berlanga (35) says a new job and another baby on the way were factors in calling an end to his playing days at Kiwitea St.
“I won’t be part of the team any more and I want to wish the club and the team all the best for the season ahead and especially the FIFA Club World Cup coming up in Morocco.
“It’s always important that players try to enjoy the adventure and make the most out of the opportunity.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved at Auckland City FC for all the great years we’ve had together and to keep up the good work.
“It’s because of everyone’s hard work and dedication that Auckland City FC has earned the right to be called the best club in Oceania.
“My life is super busy at the moment with a young family and a new job I want everyone to know I remain now and always a loyal Navy Blues man.”
Berlanga ran up his record number of first-team appearances in two spells with the club, the first starting in 2010.
A brief professional contract with Indian club Sporting Club de Goa in 2013 was followed by a return to Auckland City, and a long run of success for him and the club.
He appeared at seven FIFA Club World Cup competitions, making nine appearances, games.
Only Emiliano Tade and Ivan Vicelich have played more matches at that level with 10 each.
Berlanga won the club’s Player of the Year award four times (2010-11, 2011-12, 2016-17, 2018-19), the OFC Champions League Golden Ball award (2016-17) In-Stat ISPS Handa Premiership XI (2018-19).
Berlanga won 22 domestic, regional and international trophies with City during a 12-year tenure.
Main photo: Angel Berlanga … Auckland City record holder. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
A moment to cherish
Angel Berlanga scored a dramatic equaliser for Auckland City in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against South American champions San Lorenzo.
Here’s his goal:
Auckland City’s tribute to Berlanga
Auckland City’s media team have produced the following tribute to Berlanga: