Abel Xavier leaves Boro

08 May 2007 10:01
Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier has left the club after being unable to agree a contract extension with the Teessiders. The 34-year-old former Portugal international rejoined Boro six months ago after serving a year-long ban for an alleged drugs offence, having originally signed a one-year deal in August 2005. Boro manager Gareth Southgate told the club's official website: "We've been unable to give Abel the terms he was looking for so he's decided to move on for a new opportunity. "I'm disappointed Abel has decided not to stay with us but I'd like to thank him for his contribution to the club. He always did well when called upon and we wish him all the best." Xavier, who made 26 appearances for Boro, added: "Gareth (Southgate) has my respect as a person and as a coach. "We've not reached agreement to extend my contact but I accept that decision. We move in different directions but with mutual respect. "I'd like to say thanks also to the players because they're the most important thing in football and, when you realise we spend a lot of time together, we're a family. "For that reason a special tribute because through good times and bad times the players always support each other. There are different personalities and characters but the most important thing is to all have the same objectives."

Source: ESA