VfL midfielder Ignacio Camacho has ended his playing career due to injury. The 30-year-old Spanish midfielder’s contract has been terminated, but he will remain at VfL after reaching an agreement to start a two-year training programme with immediate effect. At Monday’s emotional press conference, which also included managing director Jörg Schmadtke, ‘Cama’ called time on his playing career and thanked those who have supported him during his time at the club so far. Camacho’s wife Carlota and two children, Nico and Ginebra, were also in attendance.
“I did everything possible”
“I fought non-stop to get back on the pitch,” said Camacho. “But I’m leaving safe in the knowledge that I did all that I could. I gave it absolutely everything I’d got to get back to doing what I love best, and that’s playing football. It wasn’t easy – I’ve been in pain every day over the last three years and, ultimately, it has prevented me from carrying on. I’m very grateful to those who have helped me – it wasn’t easy for them either.”
Just under three years ago, Camacho suffered an injury to his left ankle in a DFB Cup game against Hannover 96 which forced him to undergo five operations and spend endless hours in recovery. He managed to return to first-team training on several occasions but was never able to regain full match fitness.
Cama to stay “not just in our hearts, but in a professional capacity too”
“I’d like to thank Cama for his great efforts, not just on the pitch but during his recovery too,” said Schmadtke. “It speaks volumes about his fighting spirit. In the end, we had to accept that there were too many problems to succeed in getting him back on the pitch. He now has the opportunity over the next two years to learn about all aspects of his future career. On the one hand, this will stand him in good stead for the future, and on the other it will help him find out the best place to harness his passion for football.”
Over the next two years, Camacho will learn about goings on at the academy and other departments of the first-team setup. “I hope there’s still a long road ahead for us and that Cama will become an integral part of the VfL family – not just in our hearts, but in a professional capacity too,” added Schmadtke.
Despite the disappointment of having to call a premature end to his career on the pitch, Camacho is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. “I bid farewell to my life as a professional footballer, but the next step begins now – and my excitement is greater than ever,” he said.
Seventeen league appearances for VfL
Camacho, who wore the number four shirt at VfL after joining the club from FC Malaga in summer 2017, made 17 Bundesliga appearances for the Wolves and a further two outings in the DFB Cup, scoring once. He also won one cap for his country – in a friendly against Germany in November 2014.