Youth top scorer retires from football aged 22

Quilmes’ all-time leading youth scorer Jose Luis Valdez has announced his retirement from football at the age of 22.

The striker has taken the surprise decision after not being considered by Quilmes coach Facundo Sava for the first team ahead of the new campaign.

Valdez, who scored two goals in 10 appearances while on loan at Talleres de Remedios De Escalada earlier his season, was contracted with second division club Quilmes until this summer.

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“I thought that this day was never going to come, I thought that I would never make this decision,” Valdez wrote on Instagram.

“After almost 11 years of playing football, being away from family, friends, everything that does us good, I made the decision not to play anymore. I may be wrong, but I know that I make this decision with my heart and knowing that I leave happy. Today another stage begins, very different from all of them. Thank everyone who made it possible for me to play and be happy.”

Valdez joined Quilmes in 2010 as a 12-year-old and made a huge impact with the youth teams.

He played for Argentina’s Under-15 and U17 squads and was among 16 promising Argentinian players invited to train with the senior team ahead of the 2015 Copa America.

In his farewell post, Valdez, who made his debut in Argentina’s top flight with Quilmes in August 2016, gave a brief account of his career and the sacrifices he has made along the way.

“Sometimes football gives much sadness, but also much joy,” he wrote. “Many years of sacrifice, missing important dates because I had to train or play a game. The injuries that played against you, the atmosphere that sometimes didn’t let you play a game or didn’t even let you train.

“Living in a boarding house, where every year you met new people, you had to become everyone’s companions, without even meeting anyone.

“Leaving behind a family to fulfil a dream, to be able to debut in the First Division and give that satisfaction to your family, to be able to score a goal in the First Division, to be able to become champion.”

Since making his first team debut, Valdez made 15 appearances for Quilmes but did not find the back of the net.

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