Spar Girona's Spanish point guard Laia Palau announced on Wednesday her retirement from professional basketball at the age of 42, with an extensive track record of 33 titles and as the player who has worn the Spanish team shirt the most times.
The player announced her decision at a press conference and insisted that she does not want to talk about retirement, but rather "stop playing basketball." "When I arrived at Uni Girona four years ago, I thought I was coming home and I wasn't wrong," she said in a video shared by the club on social media.
Laia Palau ends her successful career with 556 games played in the Endesa Women's League, being the second player in history with the most games behind Noemi Jordana, who reached 572.
His path through the top flight ended with 7 league titles, one with Universitari de Barcelona (03/02), five with Ros Casares (07/06, 08/07, 08/089, 09/10 and 10/ 11) and one with Spar Girona (18/19). In addition, he won five Super Cups (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2019) and five Queen's Cups (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2021).
Palau retired from the national team in November last year, putting an end to 19 successful years defending the colors of Spain. His international debut was on the preparation tour for the 2002 World Cup in China and since that day, Palau has collected three European gold medals (2013, 2017 and 2019), three silver medals (2016 Rio Olympics, 2014 World Cup and EuroBasket 2007). and six bronzes (two world and four European).
Her legend extends to the Olympic Games and is that she is the oldest player in history to play an Olympic match. In addition, she has four participations in Games: Athens 2004, London 2002, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation, Jorge Garbajosa, acknowledged that he was sad to learn that the veteran Laia Palau put an end to her sports career this Wednesday, but that she does so as "an iconic figure" of Spanish sport .
"The only thing we can do is thank her and eternal recognition, which she already had with the national team and she has with her club, with which she feels very identified, and which she will always have from Spanish sport, not only for women, and for those of us who love the sport of our country. She is going to have a privileged place », confessed the leader in a statement published by the FEB.
“This does not mean that his basketball career ends here because I am sure that with what he loves this sport, he will continue to be linked to basketball in the coming years. We have had a thousand conversations in recent years about her future and she will make the best choice for her and to continue contributing from another point of view, "said the former international player.