Diego Forlan has bid Atletico Madrid a fond farewell as he prepares to embark on a new challenge at Inter Milan.
The Uruguay striker was set to travel to Milan on Monday afternoon and put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Serie A giants.
"It's difficult to say goodbye after four years here and three years at Villarreal," said Forlan in a press conference in Madrid. "I am sad to leave Spain. I feel a great affection to the people and I will never forget it."
He added: "The experience at Atletico has been incredible. We have won many titles but not only that, I've met great people at the club. I leave as an Atletico fan. These people will remain in my heart."
The 32-year-old joined Atletico in 2007 from Villarreal and helped the Madrid outfit clinch the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup last year. But the former Manchester United man now cannot wait to experience Serie A football.
"I see this new project as another great challenge," he said.
"I leave a great club but I arrive to another top club.
"I know the Serie A as I have watched it on TV and I am happy to be able to play having already competed in La Liga and the Premier League.
"I loved their (Inter's) project and their willingness to sign me."
Inter were keen to lure Forlan to the San Siro to strengthen their attacking line following the sale of Cameroon forward Samuel Eto'o to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala last week.