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RSL legend Javier Morales retires from professional soccer

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One of RSL’s most influential figures has hung up his boots.

Real Salt Lake v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Javier Morales, the crux of Real Salt Lake’s reformation in 2007, is hanging up his boots after 19 years of professional soccer.

The Argentine midfielder, who played with Real Salt Lake for a decade, announced his retirement on Instagram.

Morales, 38, started his professional career at Argentine club Lanus, and he ended it at FC Dallas. His time at Real Salt Lake, though, will define his career, both as a player who shaped his team week-in and week-out, and as a signal to a new era in Major League Soccer.

Morales was, to a large extent, the herald to a movement of Argentine playmakers coming to the league.

While Morales’s departure was rife with controversy, this end to his career needn’t be. I’m excited to see what comes next.

I DREAMED, LOVED, AND ENJOYED WITH THE DEPTHS OF MY BEING, BUT IT'S TIME TO LET GO. This year would have been my 20th year playing as a professional soccer player. It's been a very long journey. I have fulfilled many dreams and some I haven’t, but without a doubt it has been the dream of my life... Thanks to all the clubs that gave me the opportunity to be part of their history, Newell’s, Instituto, Vecindario and FC Dallas. Thanks to C.A Lanus for helping me grow as a person and as a player. Thanks to Arsenal de Sarandi because you opened the doors and let me enjoy soccer again. Thanks Real Salt Lake, City of Utah and the RSL nation because you made me feel at home, where I spent the best years of my career. I’ll never forget your love and support. Also, thanks to Major League Soccer, in this league I found everything what I wanted to be happy on the field. I truly enjoyed the last 11 years of soccer because I played in MLS. Thanks Alejandro for your support during those years. Thanks to all my teammates, each and everyone of you, without you it couldn’t be possible. Thanks to my friends and my family because they have always supported me, in good, especially in bad. Thanks to my parents for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream. Thanks Noe, Santi and Mateo for being the engine of all this madness, you are the most important thing in my life, Love you! Who knows when is the right time or the right place to retire. But it’s the best way, without regrets. I have given it my all and I have enjoyed every moment from the depth of my soul. I’m retiring in peace. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but whatever I do will be related to soccer, this time from another side of the field. THANK YOU ALL! Javi Morales.

A post shared by Javi Morales (@javim1) on

From his Instagram post:

This year would have been my 20th year playing as a professional soccer player. It’s been a very long journey. I have fulfilled many dreams and some I haven’t, but without a doubt it has been the dream of my life... Thanks to all the clubs that gave me the opportunity to be part of their history, Newell’s, Instituto, Vecindario and FC Dallas. Thanks to C.A Lanus for helping me grow as a person and as a player. Thanks to Arsenal de Sarandi because you opened the doors and let me enjoy soccer again. Thanks Real Salt Lake, City of Utah and the RSL nation because you made me feel at home, where I spent the best years of my career. I’ll never forget your love and support. Also, thanks to Major League Soccer, in this league I found everything what I wanted to be happy on the field. I truly enjoyed the last 11 years of soccer because I played in MLS.

Thanks Alejandro for your support during those years. Thanks to all my teammates, each and everyone of you, without you it couldn’t be possible. Thanks to my friends and my family because they have always supported me, in good, especially in bad. Thanks to my parents for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream. Thanks Noe, Santi and Mateo for being the engine of all this madness, you are the most important thing in my life, Love you!

Who knows when is the right time or the right place to retire. But it’s the best way, without regrets. I have given it my all and I have enjoyed every moment from the depth of my soul. I’m retiring in peace.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, but whatever I do will be related to soccer, this time from another side of the field.

THANK YOU ALL! Javi Morales.